Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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In Chapter 8 of Lord of the Flies, what does Ralph think of as a solution, and how does Piggy respond to this emergency situation?

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In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, the author presents Piggy as a boy whose qulaities are not at first apparent - but rather disguised by his chubby bespectacled sweaty frame, which is unappealing to some. Gradually, Golding shows us how Piggy's calmness, bravery and logical reasoning are qualities of value - particularly in a crisis. The real sadness is that Ralph does not realise the true magnitude of the gift of Piggy's friendship and moral support until the end - even being disloyal to him and betraying the secrecy of Piggy's nickname. When the other boys abandon Ralph and his rescue plan, compromising the fire beacon effectiveness, Piggy does not cry over spilt milk but gets on with the job of starting again. In normal circumstances, this would have worked but as the attack shows, they are not dealing with reasonable people and the only option when threatened and outnumbered would have been self-defence in the form of attack.

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Ralph responds to the gradual loss of civilization and descent into madness as the boys start to believe the idea of the beast by thinking that there need to be more rules.  He clings to the idea of a democracy with voting and with more structure.  Once it becomes clear that the boys are much more interested in running off with Jack, Ralph gets rather depressed.

Piggy's response is to try and comfort Ralph.  He tells him that things are going to work out just fine and that perhaps they ought to start a new signal fire on the beach rather then up on the mountain.  This opportunity for structure is somewhat of a help to Ralph but then when they are attacked by Jack's group in the middle of the night, the crisis comes to a head.

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