In "Lord of the Flies", how do Piggy's and Ralph's reaction to Simon's death differ?

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dbrooks22 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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Ralph immediately states the fact that it was murder. He is solemn while he speaks with Piggie. He knows what he and the other boys did was wrong, but he admits that he wasn’t scared during the attack on Simon. Ralph is somewhat inarticulate as he tries to explain to Piggy what happened in the circle. He doesn’t know how to explain the sadistic emotions that overcame the group of boys. He tells Piggy that "He is afraid. Of us," meaning that he realizes they have crossed the line, and that soon, the evil in each of them will take over. Ralph is also scared that he has lost control of the group and that Jack, who is blood-thirsty, has taken over.

Piggie, on the other hand, doesn’t want to believe what happened was intentional. He keeps telling Ralph that it was an accident, that it was dark and they were scared. Piggy is so afraid to admit that the boys have become savages that he even blames what happened on Simon: “Coming in the dark—he hadn’t no business crawling like that out of the dark. He was batty. He asked for it” (Golding, Ch. 10). Piggy is afraid to believe that the boys are capable of such a horrific act because he knows that Jack hates him and he may be next.


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