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[The boys] found themselves eager to take a place in this demented but partly secure society. They were glad to touch the brown backs of the fence that hemmed in the terror and made it governable. (9.86)
The boys see the fence as some sort of tangible proof that they are still good, British boys. They find security in this, until you consider Simon’s claim that the beast is “only us.” If this is true, the boys just fenced in themselves (and therefore the beast) for the night.
“I just take the conch to say this. I can’t see no more and I got to get my glasses back. Awful things has been done on this island. I voted for you for chief. He’s the only one who ever got anything done. So now you speak, Ralph, and tell us what. Or else –”
Piggy broke off, sniveling. Ralph took back the conch as he sat down.
“Just an ordinary fire. You’d think we could do that, wouldn’t you? Just a smoke signal so we can be rescued. Are we savages or what?” (11.19-21)
Ralph considers the boys savages for their inabilities – inabilities to keep order, to build a fire, to have meetings. He focuses on what they are not able to do because it is easier than looking at what they have proven themselves capable of.
Samneric protested out of the heart of civilization, “Oh, I say! –honestly!” (11.175)
Sam and Eric remind us of the absurdity of the boys’ situation. It’s possible that they still see the island as a silly game gone a little overboard.