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In Chapter Five, Ralph calls an assembly "to set things right." In Chapter 4, Jack's group had let the fire go out, and the boys missed an opportunity to signal a passing boat. Now, Ralph wants to reestablish order. He knows that this meeting must be "business, not fun."
Golding goes to great lengths to describe the place of the assembly. It resembles a triangle. Ralph always sat on a log facing the island, so that he appears in silhouette to the boys facing the lagoon. To the right and left of him are logs that the others sit on. The littluns sit on the smaller logs to the left while the others sit on the more polished log on the right. Golding gives us these details to show that the meetings have become a ritual, so much so that everyone has his habitual seat, the same logs are upended, and the grass is worn where the boys' feet were placed.
But this meeting is different. Ralph tries to lay down the law. He makes several executive decisions about the need for shelters, where the lavatory will be, keeping the signal fire going at all times, and not having any small cooking fires elsewhere. Then he allows for discussion on one topic: the beastie. In an attempt to squelch the fear on the item, Ralph attempts to address it head on. But the boys' discussion ends in chaos, and Ralph loses control of the meeting and of the boys. He is never to exert this much power again.
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