In chapter 5, Ralph holds an assembly. He attempts to organize the group of the boys, discipline them for not carrying out their necessary assignments, and encourage them to work together in order to cultivate a civil society. Ralph's opening words reveal that the civilization on the island is gradually falling apart. Ralph tells the boys,
We have lots of assemblies. Everybody enjoys speaking and being together. We decide things. But they don’t get done. (Golding, 112).
The fact that certain policies and assignments are discussed during assemblies, but are never completed, illustrates that civilization is slowly falling apart. The boys are not acting as a group. They neglect their responsibilities, which foreshadows the impending anarchy on the island.
Ralph continues to criticize the boys for their lack of effort. He specifically brings up the importance of the signal fire. Throughout the story, the signal fire can be used as a way to gauge the boys's civility and symbolically represents the hope of being rescued. When the signal fire goes out, the boys's chances of rescue dramatically decrease. The lack of hope for a return indicates that civilization is diminishing on the island. Jack and his gang are adapting and accepting their condition. Ralph goes on to say,
Look at us! How many are we? And yet we can’t keep a fire going to make smoke. Don’t you understand? Can’t you see we ought to—ought to die before we let the fire out? (Golding, 114).
The fact that Ralph has to remind the boys about the importance of the signal fire reveals that civilization is slowly falling apart. The boys completely dismiss his instructions and only focus on hunting pigs. Ralph then brings up the issue regarding the beast, which causes him to lose control of the meeting. Jack becomes aggressive with Piggy. He interrupts him while he is speaking and threatens him. When Ralph tells Jack that he is breaking the rules, Jack responds by saying,
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—! (Golding, 130).
Jack blatantly rejects the rules, disobeys the conch, and offends the elected leader of the group, which emphasizes the diminishing civility on the island. Jack then leaps down from the platform. His hunters follow him without being excused. Their actions reveal that they have absolutely no desire to help cultivate a civil society and are gradually transforming into brutal savages.