Why do you think Jack insists on going up the mountain to search for the beast even though it's already dark when they arrive? What internal conflict does Ralph feel about the decision to go up...

  • Why do you think Jack insists on going up the mountain to search for the beast even though it's already dark when they arrive?
  • What internal conflict does Ralph feel about the decision to go up the mountain in the dark?

Asked on by eschley14

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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  • In Chapter 7 of Lord of the FliesĀ the play for power continues between Ralph and Jack, who have passed the mantle of leadership back and forth throughout the narrative. Jack insists upon continuing up the mountain to search for the beast even though darkness has fallen over the area because in this way he demonstrates his fearlessness. It also makes it possible for him to be the first to discover the beast. After Ralph, Roger, and Simon stop, Simon volunteers to return to the others. Soon Jack descends in a frightened state and tells the others he has seen something, thus confirming his conviction that the beast is tangible; he hopes his announcement will empower him further. (Simon is not afraid to return to camp because he knows the beast is not a real animal.)
  • Ralph, in contrast to Jack, is not so convinced that everything is one thing or another. On the one hand, he is torn between his baser nature that has enjoyed the hunt of the pig and his longing for home as he observes how dirty and disheveled everyone is and "how infinite" the water is and the "brutal obtuseness of the ocean." This brutality extends to Jack, about whom Ralph is worried because he is not "a very good chess player"; that is, he is not so proficient with decisions.

Here is a video about the characters in Lord of the Flies:

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