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The twins see the beast at dawn and wake Ralph. The boys go looking for it on the far side of the island.
As if in answer to Ralph's prayers for a signal from the adult world, something falls from the heavens and lands on the mountain. A dead man, "a figure... with dangling limbs," floats down in a parachute, a casualty of the battle overhead. More irony! The answer to Ralph's prayer is powerless to help them; the adult world can do little for the boys. There is even greater irony here in that the boys will convince themselves that the dead man who moves like a puppet is the beast. Thus the hoped-for rescuers and the beast have much in common.
The beast who terrifies their dreams and makes them fear the jungle is nothing but a man caught up in strings. If the twins, who were supposed to be tending the fire, had stayed awake, they would have seen him floating down and might have saved the boys from ignorance. But Sam and Eric "could never manage to do things sensibly if that meant acting independently." Sam could hardly have stayed awake to watch the sky and the jungle while Eric slept.
The description of the fire they rebuild reminds us of the boys' first menacing fire. Eric, watching "the scurrying woodlice that were so frantically unable to avoid the flames," doesn't want to think about that first fire. Again and again Golding uses one event to remind us of a previous event and to hint of a coming one. In this way the details of the novel seem to mirror one another and intensify our reactions to the story.
"Wasn't he waxy?" Sam and Eric recall how upset Ralph was that the fire died when the hunters followed Jack. They equate Ralph with a teacher they had at school, seeing Ralph now as an adult, someone not to be friends with but to be avoided. Samneric's attitude indicates how the younger boys feel toward Ralph: He is acting too much like an adult. Samneric are glad that Ralph "went for" Jack and that they escaped the blame for having abandoned the fire. Childishly, they are enjoying their good luck-and then they see "the beast" on the mountain.
Ralph is dreaming of home when the twins wake him. In the early morning light he holds up the conch to signal the boys. Whether it is fear of his shaky rule over them or fear of the beast's hearing, he does not blow. Only the sunlight, a "growing slice of gold," reduces their fears enough that they can talk about what to do.
"This'll be a real hunt!" Jack's remark tells us he's thrilled.
Ralph believes the twins are telling the truth, even though much of what they say is exaggeration and hysteria. They turn themselves into heroes and cover up their having let the fire go out again. Ralph doesn't really interrogate them.
The decision is made to search the island, leaving Piggy once again with the littluns. Ralph is more considerate toward Piggy than he was the first time he left him behind. Jack is jealous and verbally assaults Piggy: "This is a hunter's job."
You may see parallels between Ralph and Jack's disagreement about who should take charge of dealing with the beast and our world situation today. Consider the arguments over the nuclear arms race. Some believe we should try to reason with countries who appear to be dangerous; these people are the Ralphs and Piggys of the world, the people who cannot believe there is really a beast that must be warred on. Others feel we must build up arms in order to be ready for the possibility of an attack; they are the Jacks of the world.
In order to deal with Jack's hunger for hunting the beast, Ralph turns the talk away from the beast. He convinces the boys that the fire must be kept going.
The second exploration of the island recalls the first, but the two are very different. Ralph and Simon and Jack were jubilant that first day; now Ralph is brooding and cautious as he picks the direction, Jack leads "with theatrical caution," and Simon ponders his inability to speak before the group.