Describe Ralph's,Piggy's and Simon's situation after the assembly.Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Forebodings that the assembly called by Ralph will not go well are indicated in Chapter Five of Lord of the Flies as Golding writes that the place of assembly is roughly a triangle, but "Piggy came and stood outside the triangle."  Around the place of assembly there are trees, and on two sides lie the beach; however, behind the lagoon, there is the "darkness of the island."  Yet, Ralph feels the need to "put things straight" because the boys have neglected the fire, they have gathered no rain water, and they are not cleaning up after themselves; in short they have degenerated.  Ralph attempts to reorganize the boys so that their shelters and the rescue fire will be maintained and conditions will be sanitary.

When the issue of the beast is broached, Ralph urges the boys to talk so they can decide that there is nothing to this idea.  Jack, then, accuses the little boys of having started the notion of a beast out of their fear; he explains that he hunts all over the island and would have seen something if there really were a beast.  "...there is no beast in the forest."  At this point, Piggy, who has the conch, says indignantly, that there is nothing to the beast, but they need to talk and put things right.  So, he calls on Phil who says he has seen the beast.  When little Percival speaks, Jack grabs him, asking him what the beast says.  Percival cannot answer, so Jack lets him go.  Finally Simon tries to speak, but he becomes

inarticulate in his effort to express mankind's essential illness

until he tries to compare it to something disgusting to the boys.  But they laugh at him.  Just then,

Two grey trunks rubbed each other with an evil speaking that one had noticed by day.

These are the trees within the triangle of the assembly.  But, now they appear sinister as the evil within man emerges although Simon is unable to express it.  Jack usurps the power of the meeting and ridicules Piggy, and declares himself chief.  When Ralph says that he is breaking the rules, Jack retorts, "Who cares?...Bollocks to the rules!"  He declares himself a hunter, and the hunters can chase down any beast and beat and beat it.  Giving a "wild whoop," Jack runs off with others following him.

After this, Piggy worries, "What's grownups going to say?"  He urges Ralph to make the boys obey him.  Piggy fears that Jack will do him harm; Simon urges Ralph to continue to be chief.  Clearly, theirs is a tenuous situation as they are all "drifing and things are going rotten," as Ralph says.  Piggy and Ralph wish there were adults to direct them.  Simon urges them to "keep the fire going."

"If only they could get a message to us," cried Ralph desperately.  "If only they could send us something grownup...a sign or something.  Ralph wishes that he could return to being a boy as he and Piggy and Simon feel premonitions that anarchy will soon break out on the island.

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Lord of the Flies

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