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One important passage in Lord of the Flies is at the very end of the novel--the officers have arrived on the island and have stopped Ralph as he runs from the mob of boys. The paragraph begins, "Ralph looked at him dumbly," and ends, ". . .the true, wise friend called Piggy." In this passage, Ralph recounts the boys' entire experience on the island, and as he does this, the other boys catch up to him, and they too seem to reflect on all that has passed. The little boys start to shake and behind them, the black smoke rises from the burning trees and brush. The description of the setting symbolically suggests that the boys have allowed evil to overtake their better judgment. Ralph understands that he has failed as a leader because he did little to prevent this from occurring. All he can do now is accept defeat: "Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart. . . ."
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