In Chapter 5 of Lord of the Flies what is Ralph discovering that he dislikes about the way he is living?

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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Ralph is beginning to discover and understand the concept of anarchy in Chapter 5 of Lord Of The Flies although he may not know it by that name.

The Random House Dictionary defines anarchy as "a state of society without government or law." This refers to the politacal and social disorder that results from the absence of a central contolling presence such as a government or in smaller dimensions a family,parish or school. Ralph is beginning to discover that the boys are probably ungovernable and this scares him. In this case the anarchy wasn't planned (the plane crash was an accident) but it is beginning to happen all the same, whereas anarchy is often planned in regimes where there is a hated or unfair dictator or state. Sometimes it is a natural consequence of the removal of a tyrant and is temporary - in the meantime anything (deaths/oppression) can happen, and this scares Ralph despite the accidental circumstances. He is beginning to realise it might all end in chaos, confusion and moral and social breakdown on the island.

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MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Ralph notices how all the boys have let themselves go, leaving civilization and all its trappings behind. This includes hygiene, especially the ability to wash & be clean. Some of this was lost in the beginning of the novel: the simple fact of being on an island changes their routines. Indeed, Ralph grows to hate the dull weariness of life on the island as well, but it's compounded by the sheer uncleanliness he finds everywhere:

This wind pressed his grey shirt against his chest so that he noticed—in this new mood of comprehension—how the folds were stiff like cardboard, and unpleasant; noticed too how the frayed edges of his shorts were making an uncomfortable, pink area on the front of his thighs. With a convulsion of the mind, Ralph discovered dirt and decay, understood how much he disliked perpetually flicking the tangled hair out of his eyes, and at last, when the sun was gone, rolling noisily to rest among dry leaves.

Ralph is sick of the savagery he sees around him, but this savagery is characterized by accumulated dirt. The physical filth on the surface becomes a symbol of the metaphorical filth of evil residing in each boy, that itself will soon struggle to be unleashed on the island.

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fernholz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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During chapter 5 in Lord of the Flies Ralph realizes that everything is falling apart. The boys aren't following the rules, even neglecting to urinate and deficate in the proper area. He wants to restore order and a sense of belonging to the group. If the rules break down, they will forget what it takes to maintain a society, therefore losing their connection to civilization and their families.

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