In chapter 12 of Lord of the Flies, how does the naval officer view Jack? And why do the other boys weep?

The naval officer views Jack with amusement at first when he believes the boys are simply playing a game of war on the island. The officer then feels ashamed of the boys for their lack of responsibility and discretion. Ralph and the others begin sobbing when they reflect on their immoral behavior and are overcome with grief, shame, remorse, and guilt. Their tears encompass the traumatic, harrowing experience they have endured, which has dramatically transformed their lives.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Initially, the British naval officer views Jack and the other boys with amusement and assumes by their appearance that they have been engaging in fun and games. He has more than likely read adventure stories and misinterprets the boys's behavior and appearance. The officer notices that they are covered with streaks of colored clay and casually asks Ralph if they have been "having a war or something." Once Ralph admits that two children have died, the officer's disposition changes and he asks who is in charge. Jack entertains the idea of identifying himself as the boss but refrains from speaking up. Jack looks similar to the other boys, except he is wearing a black cap and Piggy's glasses are dangling from his waistband. The officer more than likely cannot distinguish Jack from the other boys and views him as a dirty, unkempt adolescent.
After analyzing the situation and briefly examining the boys, the officer loses his casual, light-hearted demeanor by saying,
"I should have thought that a...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1052 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on