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Ralph laughed, and the other boys laughed with him. The small boy twisted further into himself.
"Tell us about the snake-thing."
"Now he says it was a beastie."
"A snake-thing. Ever so big. He saw it."
"In the woods."
"He says the beastie came in the dark." (2.73-80)
The biguns are laughing at the littluns' fear, but they won't be laughing for long. Pretty soon, they'll be just as afraid—and they can do ugly things out of fear.
"You've noticed, haven't you?"
Jack put down his spear and squatted.
"Well. They're frightened."
He rolled over and peered into Jack's fierce, dirty face.
"I mean the way things are. They dream. You can hear 'em. Have you been awake at night?" Jack shook his head.
"They talk and scream. The littluns. Even some of the others. As if—"
"As if it wasn't a good island."
Astonished at the interruption, they looked up at Simon's serious face.
"As if," said Simon, "the beastie, the beastie or the snake-thing, was real. Remember?" (3.58-67)
Ralph wants to build shelters, because he knows that the kids are afraid—but all Jack wants to do is hunt. Would that have helped? We know that the boys themselves are the beast, but the boys don't. Maybe building huts would have helped them feel safe enough to keep Simon alive.
"…fear can't hurt you any more than a dream. There aren't any beasts to be afraid of on this island . . . Serve you right if something did get you, you useless lot of cry-babies!" (5.79)
Jack isn't winning any Mr. Sensitive awards here. He's also wrong: fear can hurt you; and there are beasts on the island.