In Chapter 5, why does Ralph call a meeting?
In Chapter 5, Ralph calls a meeting in an attempt to motivate the boys into following the rules and completing the tasks that are agreed upon during the assemblies. Ralph is frustrated that the boys do not follow through with their tasks and addresses the various issues he has with them not following directions. Ralph discusses how nobody gathers water in the coconuts and how Simon is the only boy who consistently helps build the shelters. He also addresses the fact that the boys relieve themselves wherever they please instead of the agreed upon area which is along the beach. He then discusses the importance of maintaining a signal fire and makes another rule that the only place there will be a fire on the island is on top of the mountain. The last issue Ralph addresses during the meeting is in regards to the identity of the "beast." Ralph feels that the group needs to decide that there is nothing to fear and tries to convince the littluns that a "beast" does not exist.
Ralph calls a meeting because he is trying to reestablish the importance of the fire in everyone's minds. In the previous chapter, a ship had passed the island, but Jack and his hunters had let the fire go out so there was no smoke to signal the ship. In the meeting, Ralph also hits on a number of other issues - he wants the other boys to think seriously about their survival instead of being lazy or getting so caught up in hunting that they neglect other necessary things. Once again, Ralph, Piggy, and Simon are the only ones who see the importance of the things Ralph brings up. The others do not have the maturity of insight or self-control to understand.