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kamistry

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Grammer on Thoughts and Capitolization

In the following passage, where the boy is thinking to himself, is "Why" supposed to be capitalized or not?

The boy thought to himself, Why don't they just let him live in the jungle? His body is of no use to us, and he can't harm us here.
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Paul Sauvé
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kamistry

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No I think it should not be between quote marks (for sure).
Because the text is telling the reader about what the boy was thinking (not saying).
If the boy said the words, then it would be in quotes.
The boy thought the words, therefore, it is Italics.
Now the question is, should the first word be in capitol (the 'Why')?
Why comes after a comma and is in the middle of a sentence.

Therefore, it should not have a capital w.

If one used a semi-colon (;) instead of the comma, a capital may be okay.
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kamistry

Were you aware that there is a "Proofreading" topic here on Experts-Exchange:
https://www.experts-exchange.com/topics/proofreading/
Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be frequented as much as it should be and you have more chance of answers in the "Miscellaneous" topic.
Thank you Kyle