Why does Ralph take initiatives to scale the "castle" rock in Lord of the Flies?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 6, when Jack, Ralph, Simon, and the biguns explore the only part of the island they hadn't checked out, the rock formation that came to be known as "Castle Rock", looms.  The boys are searching for the beast which Sam and Eric and others claim exists and so far, in all the other areas they've checked, they haven't encountered it, so they fear it may be on this rocky piece of island.  Jack hesitates, clearly not wanting to be the one to explore and possibly run into the beast.  His bravado is gone.  Ralph steps up and says he will go.  Some surge of responsibility instilled in him by society propels him forward.  He doesn't really understand the urge; it's not one he's considered and analyzed, it's just there.  As he begins his climb, he realizes he is no longer frightened that he might encounter the beast; in fact, he didn't think he would encounter it.  This indicates that something in his subconscious tells him that the beast is not a separate entity. He understands, as Simon and Piggy are beginning to understand, that the source of evil isn't something tangible.  Ralph is the protagonist in the story, the one who does not lose his civility and lives.  He feels the nature of responsibility and reason even if he can't vocalize yet what he feels.

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Lord of the Flies

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