What were the rules of the island in Lord of the Flies and what was the civilization like?

2 Answers

lentzk's profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Ralph establishes some fairly simple rules for the boys at the beginning of their adventure on the island. 

  1. Use the conch in assembly meetings.  Wait for your turn to talk.  Interrupting of the person holding the conch is not allowed.
  2. Bring water from the stream and store it in coconut shells under leaves.
  3. Keep the fire signal on the mountain going at all times.
  4. Use the rocks for lavatory.  Using the bathroom in the fruit trees area is not allowed.

Ralph's rules do not last very long, mostly because Ralph never implements some sort of system of discipline to keep the boys in check.  Ralph's frustrations continue to build almost to a breaking point when he calls the assembly in chapter five after Jack's hunters let the fire go out when a ship passes by.  Ralph vents to the tribe:

"We have lots of assemblies. Everybody enjoys speaking and being together.  We decide things.  But they don't get done" (79).

Ralph's burgeoning leadership over his fledgling civilization is ineffective, because he lacks the authority to enforce the simplest of rules.  The boy's attempt at civilization on the island ultimately fails due to their lack of consistency in maintaining the law and order of the island.

lilmack's profile pic

lilmack | Student | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

The boys establish a society with rules in the middle of chapter 1, once Ralph is elected as chief. I feel that the events that start the deterioration are in Chapter 4, Painted faces and long hair, because that is when the boys begin to act like savages. I feel society is completely gone once Simon is murdered, because he was going to say how everything was okay, but BAM! Jack's tribe (along with Samneric) totally demolished him.