In the final chapter, Ralph is completely alone. Even Samneric have joined Jack's tribe. He dwells on the deaths of Piggy and Simon, the most intelligent and most peaceful of the boys on the island. The conch has been destroyed with Piggy's death. Since the conch symbolized and sustained order, its destruction signifies the end of order and civilized ways. The other boys are now savages and Ralph is running for his life. Ralph is an outcast. Everything is in chaos. He longs for the times when all the boys were together in school and even the first civilized times on the island when they got along. Desperate for human connection, he even considers going to Jack's camp:
Might it not be possible to walk boldly into the fort, say— “I’ve got pax,” laugh lightly and sleep among the others? Pretend they were still boys, schoolboys who had said, “Sir, yes, Sir”—and worn caps? Daylight might have answered yes; but darkness and the horrors of death said no. Lying there in the darkness, he knew he was an outcast.
Ralph realizes he is on his own. He is being hunted and must become somewhat of a savage himself in order to survive. When the naval officer arrives, he is disappointed that the boys are so disorganized. Ralph admits to being their leader. Ralph cries because everything hits him all at once. He is relieved to have been rescued. He is embarrassed that the boys have devolved into savages (especially since he was the original leader). He mourns the loss of Simon and Piggy. The island is on fire. The boys have destroyed this paradise and themselves. He also cries because of their loss of innocence and the realization of how potentially evil humanity can be:
And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.