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In chapter seven, during a break in their search for the beast, Ralph finds himself alone and thinks back. He clearly longs for the comfort, security and pleasures of home. He remembers how much enjoyment he derived from having his books, the pleasure of seeing snow and the fact that his mother had still been with them. They had been a family. He wistfully thinks about how the ponies had come to the wall in their garden and how he could have cornflakes with sugar and cream when he went to bed. More importantly, though, he reminisces about the place because that was before he was sent off to school. Ralph is especially moved by how "everything was all right; everything was good-humored and friendly."
In contrast, things on the island have been difficult. He has not been able to take care of himself as he would have at home. Furthermore, he has been in a constant struggle with Jack about taking responsibility. He has had to allay fears of an unknown entity, but he has fears of his own because, just like the others, he is just a boy. Ralph is carrying a huge weight on his shoulders and the others, especially the littluns, look to him for guidance and reassurance—something he cannot truly provide.
It is profoundly ironic that Ralph eventually becomes the primary target for Jack and his hunters' savagery for he has, after all, had everyone's best interests at heart.
As Jack and the others hunt, Ralph wanders off, and begins to daydream of his former home with his parents, an idyllic cottage.
In the succession of houses that Ralph had known, this one stood out with particular clarity because after that house he had been sent away to school. Mummy had still been with them and Daddy had come home every day. Wild ponies came to the stone wall at the bottom of the garden, and it had snowed. Just behind the cottage there was a sort of shed and you could lie up there, watching the flakes swirl past. You could see the damp spot where each flake died, then you could mark the first flake that lay down without melting and watch, the whole ground turn white.
There's a calmness here, a sense of peace and comfort. It's completely juxtaposed with the reality around Ralph: a reality of dirt, grime, blood, and violence. It also shows how Ralph is unable to deal with the savagery building around him. Instead, he retreats back to the safe memories of his life of civilization.
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