In Lord of the Flies, why do Ralph and Jack decide to go find the beast?  

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In chapter 6 of Lord of the Flies, a dead paratrooper floats down during the night and lands on the island. When Samneric are tending the fire overnight, they hear the parachute blowing the body along and catch sight of what they assume is the Beast. They rush down the mountain and tell Ralph. At first light, Ralph calls an assembly to discuss what to do. Jack insists they must leave immediately to hunt the beast, but Ralph points out that they only have sharpened wooden sticks for spears. Although Jack insists it should be the hunters' job to go after the beast, Ralph insists that "this is more than a hunter's job" because the Beast doesn't leave tracks. In order to maintain his authority in the face of Jack's defiance, Ralph leads a group of biguns toward the "tailend part" of the island.

Jack's reason for wanting to go after the beast seems to be primarily about the thrill of the chase. He has become fixated on hunting, and he immediately sees this as a hunt that he wants to pursue. Ralph, however, considers the big picture. When Piggy, out of fear, suggests that the boys could avoid the Beast by staying in their camp all the time, Ralph strikes the idea down. They need access to large parts of the island to get their food. More importantly, they need to keep the crucial signal fire going. If they can't go up the mountain because of the Beast, they can't tend the fire, so their chances for rescue will be next to nil. Ralph thinks of others when he thinks of eliminating the Beast, while Jack thinks primarily of the excitement of the hunt.

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Ralph and Jack decide to go and find the beast because as the unspoken leaders of the island of boys, they have to. Jack does so because he wishes to hunt and kill the beast; while Ralph does so because he doesn't wish to lose face before the other boys. This is early in the novel, so Jack and Ralph are still vying for the leadership and for the allegiance of the boys. Do a search for this question, as a similar question has been asked before.

Good luck!

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