What is the difference between Ralph and jacks interpretation of Simon's death?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main difference between Ralph and Jack's interpretation of Simon's death is that Ralph recognizes the 'beast' they killed was actually Simon. The morning after the dance, Ralph discusses what happened with a reluctant Piggy:

"'That was Simon.'

'You said that before.'



'That was murder' (156).

Jack never openly admits that the 'beast' they killed was Simon.  On Castle Rock, Jack is all business, not showing the slightest indication of regret for his actions.  Instead, he warns the other boys to guard the gate, because "the beast might try to come in. You remember how he crawled" (160).   Jack asserts:

"'He came disguised. He may come again even though we gave him the head of our kill to eat.  So watch; and be careful'" (160).

Right after Jack makes this statement, Stanley questions whether or not they killed it, and "every savage flinched away from his individual memory" (160).  Golding's details, especially the boys' "flinching," do suggest that the hunters recognized what happened the night before, but unlike Ralph, none of them, and especially not Jack, openly confess their involvement in Simon's death.  Instead, Jack absolves the boys of any guilt they might be feeling by convincing them that they not have killed the beast and should remain on the look out for it. 

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Lord of the Flies

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