In chapter 6, Ralph is still attempting to keep the focus of all efforts on what he perceives as being the most important concern of all - keeping the signal fire lit so any potential rescuers will become aware of their presence. However, the reaction to the report from Samneric concerning the beast they encountered the previous evening demands immediate action of some sort. Ralph and Jack display their different styles of leadership as the boys debate what to do, then as Ralph is the first to cross the rock bridge to the smaller island.
Ralph wants to be a responsible leader but is becoming overwhelmed with the circumstances and conflicting concerns and multitude of decisions that must be made. He is unable to find an acceptable way to discuss the vision Simon has concerning the beast; he is impatient with those who want to build defenses on the small island instead of tending the fire; he is fighting to maintain the authority of the conch but senses that it is slipping away.