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What is the conflict in Chapter Five of William Golding's Lord of the Flies?

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user8449626 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 27, 2013 at 2:33 AM via web

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What is the conflict in Chapter Five of William Golding's Lord of the Flies?

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StephanieRR | TA , Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted September 27, 2013 at 11:50 PM (Answer #1)

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Chapter five details another meeting for the children, and Ralph is determined it will be serious and productive. Unfortunately, it does't go according to plan at all. He manages to say all the things that have to be done, like building a proper lavatory, repairing huts, and- most importantly- keeping a fire going. He blames the hunters for letting the fire die in their obssession with hunting a pig. He tries to assert his authority as chief, and tells everyone to stop believing in a beast that walks around at night. Piggy tries to explain why there can't logically be a beast, while some of the "littluns" insist that it is real. Jack calls them all stupid for thinking so, and Ralph tries to tell them in a nicer way that the beast is just in their imaginations. The tensions in the meeting rise as people continue to disagree about what the beast is and who should be able to speak up at the meeting. The conflict hits its most stressful point when Jack tells Ralph to shut up and stop telling people what to do, and Ralph tries to say that he has the conch and is the chief, so he should speak and everyone else should listen. Ralph insists that rules are important because they are all that the group has.

It is at this point that Jack says, "Bollocks to the rules! We’re strong—we hunt! If there’s a beast, we’ll hunt it down! We’ll close in and beat and beat and beat!”

He totally disregards Ralph's authority and leaves the meeting, taking most of the group with him, and this signals the beginning of the great rift that will grow between Jack and his followers and Ralph and his followers.

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