Why does Ralph call the meeting in Chapter 5 of Lord of the Flies?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 4, Jack allows his hunters to leave the signal fire, and the boys miss out on a chance to be rescued when a ship passes the island. By the end of chapter 4, Ralph realizes the need to reassess the entire situation, and calls for a meeting to address the lack of effort the boys are making to maintain a civil, organized lifestyle.

Ralph begins the assembly in chapter 5 by mentioning that the boys do not complete the tasks they agree upon during their meetings. Ralph comments on several issues, such as the lack of water in the coconut shells, the inconvenient places where the boys are relieving themselves, and the fact that only Simon helped finish building the shelters with him. Ralph then reiterates the importance of maintaining a signal fire, and makes a new rule concerning where the boys are allowed to cook their food.

The last topic Ralph discusses concerns the existence of the beast on the island. In Ralph's attempt to quell concerns regarding the beast, the assembly loses focus, and Jack leads the majority of the boys away from the platform to perform their ritual hunting dance.

coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the novel 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding, the boys are not sticking to the plan to get themselves rescued from the island where they have been cast away as we move forward from chapter 3 towards chapter five. At first, once they have enjoyed the freedom, warm seas and soft sand, the novelty wears off and the older boys begin to address the problem of getting rescued. The first meeting shows promise and optimism. Responsible topics are discussed (such aas the need for shelter, food and a lookout) and plans suggested for how to achieve all this. Soon however, Ralph notices things beginning to slide - and the motion is all downwards. Jack notices it too, and starts to complain about it - how the littluns are running off to play after getting bored five minutes after turning up to build the shelters. However, Jack himself has gotten distracted - by a drive to kill (supposedly for meat.) Ralph hopes another meeting will bring things back to order.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ralph calls the meeting in Chapter 5 because things are not going the way he wants.  Specifically, the boys are not taking things seriously enough.  They are not being serious enough about trying to be rescued or about making a decent life for themselves on the island.

Ralph is worried because the huts have not been built well.  He is unhappy because the hunters let the fire go out.  He is unhappy because the boys have not been doing a good job of using the bathroom in a place where the sewage can be washed out to sea.

In other words, he feels like the boys are not acting responsibly and that needs to stop.