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The boys are generally excited and attentive at the meetings. But Ralph thinks it is all talk and no action. In Chapter 3 when Jack returns from a failed hunting attempt, Ralph complains that while everyone attends the meetings and seems quite interested in finding ways to make their situation better, no one actually carries through and does the work required to make the situation better.
I bet if I blew the conch this minute, they’d come running. Then we’d be, you know, very solemn, and someone would say we ought to build a jet, or a submarine, or a TV set. When the meeting was over they’d work for ﬁve minutes, then wander off or go hunting.
Most of the boys are playing at this point. But Ralph was making a specific reference to hunting because he felt that Jack was more interested in getting meat than he was in building the huts or keeping the fire going: their best chance of attracting attention to be rescued. In Chapter 5, Ralph tries again to convince the boys to put more work into what he thinks are the top priorities: building the huts and keeping the fire going.
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