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With what are the littl'uns preoccupied in Chapter 5, how do the older boys respond to...

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chellymichelly9 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 8, 2008 at 11:58 AM via web

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With what are the littl'uns preoccupied in Chapter 5, how do the older boys respond to their concern in "Lord of the Flies"?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 8, 2008 at 12:42 PM (Answer #1)

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When Ralph calls a meeting, the littl'uns in Chapter 5 of "Lord of the Flies" are concerned with their fear of the beast. Ralph's attempts to maintain order and discuss the importance of keeping a fire going are countermanded by Jack, who capitalizes on the fear of the boys, for he perceives that Ralph has their attention only when they are worried about his anger.  By using their fear and by intimidating the littl'uns, Jack gains control over them.  They are more interested in building a fire to cook the pig than in maintaining the fire as an alert to any search party; the primal self-gratification of Jack's fire supersedes the sensible warning fire. This begins the breakdown in the reasoning of the boys and ultimate control of Jack, the savage.  Ralph realizes, "We're all drifing and things are going rotten.  At home there was always a grownup..."  There are no perimeters set by civilization on the island.

Although he is unable to speak coherently. Terrified, he understands the true nature of the beast:  It is the beast within the boys, the evil inherent in them, that frightens them, but they do not recognize it.  This realization terrifies Simon so much that he cannot communicate:  "Simon's effort fell about him in ruins..." 

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