What five items does Ralph bring up at the meeting in Lord of the Flies?

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The sequence that you are asking about occurs in chapter 5.  Ralph is very frustrated with the declining situation on the island.  He sees that their basic system of government and rules are breaking down.  In order to combat that, Ralph calls an assembly to reinforce some old rules and establish new ones.  

The first item that Ralph brings up is the availability of water.  It was agreed earlier that water would be brought and stored in coconut shells.  That system has completely fallen apart, because everybody has started drinking straight from the river.  

We were going to have water brought from the stream and left in those coconut shells under fresh leaves. So it was, for a few days. Now there’s no water. The shells are dry. People drink from the river.”

The next item is shelter.  Ralph states that the shelters that they do have are inadequate, because not everybody helped with building all of them.  Consequently, the last shelter is nearly falling down.  Ralph tells the boys that the shelters must be fixed.  

The third agenda item is the bathroom location.  A location had been chosen for sanitation reasons.  That was very smart thinking on the boys' part; however, nobody seems to pay any attention to it anymore.  

"We chose those rocks right along beyond the bathing pool as a lavatory. That was sensible too. The tide cleans the place up. You littluns know about that. . . Now people seem to use anywhere. Even near the shelters and the platform”

Ralph has an excellent point with the bathroom.  Human waste near drinking water and food supplies is notorious for causing disease.  Ralph knows that it's important to keep hygiene a priority.  

Fire is the fourth item.  Ralph stresses the fact that the fire and its smoke is their best chance of being spotted for rescue.  The fire must stay lit. 

Ralph's fifth item of discussion is to tell the boys that they need to bring food to fire and not fire to the food.  

"We nearly set the whole island on fire. And we waste time, rolling rocks, and making little cooking fires. Now I say this and make it a rule, because I’m chief. We won’t have a fire anywhere but on the mountain. Ever.”

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