Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

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What feature in Piggy does Ralph realize he needs to access in chapter 5 of Lord of the Flies?  

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Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Chapter five is about the meeting that Ralph calls in order to scold the rest of the boys about their lack of hygiene and carelessness about keeping order on the island. Before the meeting begins, Ralph is off to the side thinking things over. He is still struggling with how to be the best chief that he can be. He knows that Jack is no longer a simple vocal minority. Ralph knows that Jack represents a real threat to his own leadership. Ralph knows that he is going to have to step up his efforts to be more chief-like. One way to do that is to better solve survival problems for the group. In order to do that, Ralph either needs to be a better thinker, or get somebody on his side who already is a great thinker. Ralph opts for the latter choice. He knows that Piggy has an incredible intelligence and is a quick thinker and good problem-solver.  

Only, decided Ralph as he faced the chief’s seat, I can’t think. Not like Piggy.

Once more that evening Ralph had to adjust his values. Piggy could think.

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Throughout this chapter, Ralph uses his power as leader to complain to the boys about how they are not following the rules. His tone and demeanor both help contribute to the group's distaste for his presentation.

After not allowing Jack, Piggy, or anyone else to talk, Ralph finally gets all his thoughts out. Jack and Piggy both take the floor at different times. Jack's message is met with great applause. Piggy is mocked, but Ralph actually realizes in these moments the logic behind Piggy's argument. In fact, his ideas are of such a clear nature and his message is so appropriate that Ralph realizes he needs Piggy to help him communicate. Piggy comes up with the idea to discuss the beast by letting one of the little ones discuss their fear. This gave the big kids the opportunity to dispell the fear.


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