Limited access

Upgrade to access all content for this subject

In the passage below, why might the last sentence be significant?

Slowly the silence on the mountain-top deepened till the click of the fire and the soft hiss of roasting meat could be heard clearly. Jack looked round for understanding but found only respect. Ralph stood among the ashes of the signal fire, his hands full of meat, saying nothing.


It contrasts Ralph's position - literally on top of the signal fire - with his silent acceptance of the product of Jack's hunt, the same hunt that caused the smoke to go out and a chance at rescue to be missed.


It ironically suggests that Ralph's silence is a tacit approval of Jack's descent into savagery, the very same act he just condemned.


It provides contrast between Jack's loud, boisterous and passionate outburst and Ralph's quiet and pensive response, and byt so doing reminds readers of the two conflicting leadership styles on the island.


It implies that Ralph has stamped out the connection to their home in the civilized world by stomping on the ashes of the signal fire and thus proves that he no longer cares about rescue.


It helps to explain precisely why the other boys respect but cannot understand Jack by showing that even Ralph, who is similar in age and the leader of the group, is at a loss for words but still accepts Jack symbolically through accepting his meat.

Select an assignment template