In chapter five of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, what is the reasoning for the rules Ralph enumerates?

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Ralph is the elected leader of the boys in Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, and things have never really been very organized on the island. By chapter five, the island is in a minor state of chaos, and Ralph is frustrated. He calls a meeting and sets some new rules:

“We need an assembly. Not for fun. Not for laughing and falling off the log”—the group of littluns on the twister giggled and looked at each other—“not for making jokes, or for”—he lifted the conch in an effort to find the compelling word—“for cleverness. Not for these things. But to put things straight.”

The first rule Ralph wants to re-enact keeping drinking water in the gourds because they have been drinking from the river--and it is polluted by their own waste.

The second rule is that everyone must sleep in the shelters except for whoever is tending the fire. The shelters are there and they should be used and kept in repair.

The third rule is that they must use a certain place for a bathroom, since the tide cleans up the mess. Boys have been getting lazy and things are a getting dirty.

Next, the fire must be maintained, and from now on it will be moved to the mountain. No fire anywhere but on the mountain; it will be safer and more likely to attract a passing ship.

Finally, they have to decide on fear. They take a vote and decide that there is no beast. It is a foolish and empty vote and Jack argues about it, but Ralph hopes it will bring some relief to those who are having nightmares. 

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