In "Lord of the Flies", chapter 5, aside, from the small, not too significant, decisions Ralph makes, what major decision is he forced to make?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ralph's authority is brought into question when the little boys are sure there is a beast on the island or in the waters around the island.  The terror of the possibility is making it difficult to get things done.  Ralph says he doesn't believe in the possibility of beasts or ghosts, but deep down, he is somewhat fearful and uncertain, too.  This uncertainty and his poor leadership skills cause him to make the decision to have a vote to determine whether or not there is a beast.  Ralph's attempt to legislate the source of fear is ludicrous and greatly undermines what little authority he still has.  Simon and Piggy, too, seem to understand that the real source of fear and the real beast on the island is the one that lives inside of each one of them, but Ralph does not see this yet. When he holds the vote to attempt to determine whether or not the tangible beast exists, the meeting falls apart and Jack essentially takes over.  Jack is not without fear, but he acts decisively and declares that if there is a beast, they'll hunt it down and kill it.  This concrete declaration of action is what the other boys want to hear.  To each boy it isn't important whether or not anyone else believes in the beast, it is important that a plan be made to eliminate a beast and that is what Jack claims he'll do.  Ralph's decision to hold the vote on the existence of the beast was a major decison and a bad one.

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Lord of the Flies

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