In Lord of the Flies, why does Ralph say, "Meetings. Don't we love meetings?"  

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ralph makes this statement sarcastically. He and Simon are attempting to erect the last of the three shelters, and they are having a hard time. Ralph is frustrated with the other boys because, although in the meeting everyone had agreed to "work hard until the shelters were finished," the boys didn't follow through. Now they've all run off to play, leaving only Simon and Ralph to try to get the shelter finished on their own. In response to Ralph's complaint, which he makes to Jack, Simon tells Ralph that he's chief, and he should "tell 'em off." Ralph says that if he were to blow the conch, the boys would come running and they would all have great ideas during the meeting. But as soon as the meeting was over, they would forget what they had talked about and just go back to playing. This scene shows how Ralph and Simon are the boys who display the most altruism, putting the good of the society ahead of their own desires for pleasure. However, Ralph isn't enjoying his sacrifice at this point, so he uses verbal irony, saying the opposite of what he means, to express his exasperation. 

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Lord of the Flies

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