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

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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Why does Ralph call an assembly? How do the boys react? Is the bond of friendship between Ralph and Jack disappearing? Why?

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Ralph calls an assembly to set things straight.  While Jack and the hunters have been victorious in killing their first pig, Ralph and Piggy have suffered a major disappointment when a ship passed by, and there was no signal fire.  Ralph, probably for the first time, realizes how much he wanted to be rescued.  So, we have two groups emerging:  Jack's group that wants to hunt and have fun, thinking only of the here and now; and Ralph's group that is concerned with shelters and rescue.

Ralph's meeting is an attempt to establish rules and procedures for survival and rescue. And Ralph cares very much about this meeting. He plans out what he is going to say beforehand.  He even knows how he will make his announcements.  In other words, Ralph assumes a true leadership role, acting as a leader who is very much concerned about the welfare of the group.  Jack, of course, resents Ralph's authority.  He does not care for Ralph's rule, and wants only to do what he wants when he wants.  He still is interested in having fun on the island.  As Ralph begins to respect Piggy's input more because he and Ralph have the same goals, Ralph moves further away from Jack.

The boys listen to Ralph initially.  But the meeting breaks up when Ralph allows them to discuss the beastie.  It is the boys' fear that Ralph cannot control or allay.  Instead of quelling the boys' fears, the discussion of the beastie only heightens them.  Jack's power on the island is increased as the fear of the unknown increases.

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