Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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What rule does Ralph set for the tribe?

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The first rule that Ralph establishes is introduced in chapter 2, "Fire on the Mountain." Ralph creates the rule that only a person who is holding the conch shell may speak; everyone else must listen.

And another thing. We can't have everybody talking at once. We'll have to have 'Hands up' like at school . . . I'll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he's speaking.

This rule ensures that anyone who wishes to speak will be heard. The conch shell symbolizes law, order, and civility. Later in the text, when the conch shell is broken, this symbolizes the loss of law, order, and civility.

Other rules that Ralph establishes in the novel are that water should be stored in coconut shells underneath the leaves, that rocks (instead of the area near the fruit trees) should be used for the restroom, and that a boy must always be watching the signal fire on the mountain to make sure that it never goes out.

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At the beginning of chapter 2, Ralph holds an assembly and explains to the boys that they are on an uninhabited island. Ralph then proceeds to set rules and establish priorities for the group. The first rule Ralph establishes is that whoever is speaking and addressing the group during the assemblies must hold the conch. The other boys who are not holding the conch during the assemblies must remain silent as the person with the conch speaks, which prevents everyone from talking over each other. Ralph then mentions that it is important to create a signal fire to increase their chances of being rescued. Unfortunately, the boys immediately break from the assembly and accidentally start a forest fire, which ends up killing the littlun with the mulberry-colored birthmark. Later on, Ralph establishes more rules regarding where to relieve oneself, having several coconuts full with water, and that there must always be boys at the top of the mountain to maintain the signal fire.

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What rule does Ralph establish?

In Chapter 2, Ralph, Jack, and Simon return from their first expedition on the island and hold an assembly. After Ralph explains to the group of boys that they are stranded on an uninhabited island, Jack interrupts him and says that they'll need hunters to kill the numerous pigs. Ralph then creates the first rule on the island. Ralph comments that they cannot have everybody speaking at once during the assemblies, so they will take turns holding the conch shell to address the group. Whenever a person is holding the conch shell during a meeting, no one is allowed speak over them. This system of taking turns is both democratic and civil. The conch shell is an important symbol of civility and structure throughout the novel. As the story progresses, Jack begins to speak over others and breaks the rule of not talking when someone is holding the conch during an assembly.

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