In chapter 6 of Lord of the Flies, what effect does the beast from air have on Ralph?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Upon Samneric's quick return to camp after spotting the beast on the mountain side, Ralph takes immediate action and calls a late-night assembly.  His fear is real, but his response is practical.  When Jack rallies the hunters to go after it, Ralph responds pragmatically:

"'These spears are made of wood.  Don't be silly.'

Jack sneered at him.

'Frightened?'

''Course I'm frightened.  Who wouldn't be?'" (100).

Ralph's reaction diffuses the power of Jack's 'war cry,' making the boys approach the problem of the beast with more logic and forethought than if Jack had carried out his plan for a direct hunting assault on the beast. Because Ralph makes the hunters and the rest of the boys think through their course of action, they are able to come up with a more reasonable plan, to search out the places on the island that Jack has not yet seen. 

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