In Lord of the Flies, why does Ralph begin to sob/cry when he saw the naval officer?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ralph cries for a couple of reasons.  One reason he cries is that he has come to fully realize what Simon and Piggy understood earlier - that the beast on the island was the evil in men's hearts.  He weeps for all of mankind because he naive belief in man's basic goodness has been stripped away and the raw terror of this realization brings him to tears. He also, along with the realization, sees that he, too, has that inner beast and he'd let it out.  He had grabbed the stick sharpened at both ends and fully intended to use it as a weapon if he had needed to.  He was going to be as savage with that weapon as those who were hunting him planned to use their same type weapons.  The realization that he was no better than the rest of them brought him to tears.  He also wept because he realized the loss of life that had occurred. He sobbed for the deaths of Simon and Piggy.

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Lord of the Flies

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