What is Ralph's epiphany in Chapter 5 in Lord of the Flies?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Ralph has an epiphany that, as chief, he must be able to think things through in a logical step-by-step manner. He recognizes that Piggy is quite able to do this. Ralph becomes adept at thinking about thinking. He becomes able to recognize how others think as well, thus making him a good judge of character, but also one who can understand thought processes of other people. "Ralph was a specialist in thought now, and could recognize thought in another." 

At this point, Ralph intends to use the meetings for business alone. He wants to get things done. Ralph feels it is necessary to be a more assertive leader. He wants the boys to be more responsible about the shelters, the lavatory, and the fire. His other epiphany is that the reason things are "breaking up" is because of fear. He then leads a discussion in order to talk about the fear so they can overcome it. Unfortunately, the discussions goes in circles. Some boys can not decide whether the beast is real or in their minds. Jack insists that if there is a beast, he will hunt and kill it. Once again, the fear has led the boys to focus on hunting (and violence) rather than the necessities laid out by Ralph. Ralph's epiphany that the fear must be dealt with is correct, but Jack leads them back into that fear. 

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