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"Meetings. Don't we all love meetings? Every day. Twice a day. We talk." He got on one elbow. "I bet if I blew the conch this minute, they'd come running. Then we'd be, you know, very solemn, and someone would say we ought to build a jet, or a submarine, or a TV set. When the meeting was over they'd work for five minutes, then wander off or go hunting" (51).
This quote reveal's Ralph's frustration at the lack of success of his own leadership. He acknowledges the fun of having the meetings, but also recognizes their futility. Ralph begins to realize that he has no real means of enforcing the rules or directions on the island.
"Have you been awake at night?"
Jack shook his head.
"They talk and scream. The littluns. Even some of the others. As if--"
"As if it wasn't a good island."
Astonished at the interruption, they looked up at Simon's serious face.
"As if," said Simon, "the beastie, the beastie or the snake thing was real. Remember?" (52)
This conversation between Jack, Ralph, and Simon reinforces the idea of the Beast on the island as a threat to the boys' safety. Simon ponders the possibility that "it wasn't a good island," the beginning of his belief that perhaps the real source of danger on the island was the boys themselves.
"I was talking about smoke! Don't you want to be rescued? All you can talk about is pig, pig, pig!" (54)
Ralph says this accusingly to Jack. This quote reveals the growing rift between the two boys' priorities on the island, designating Ralph as the responsible one and Jack as being carefree and self-gratifying. This division between the two boys over maintaining the fire versus hunting will become one of the central conflicts of the novel, eventually splitting all of the boys into opposite camps.
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