Why does Ralph call a meeting in Chapter 5?

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gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Ralph calls a meeting in Chapter 5 to address how the boys continually neglect their duties and to make a final decision about the existence of the beast. Ralph begins by mentioning that there is no longer water in the coconut shells—something they agreed to maintain in an earlier assembly. He also mentions that the majority of the boys neglected to help build the shelters and brings up how the littluns have been going to the bathroom by the fruit trees, which isn't a sanitary practice. Ralph informs the group that he has been elected chief and demands that they follow through with the decisions discussed at the assemblies. Ralph then tells the boys that they are no longer allowed to start separate fires and must take their food to be cooked at the top of the mountain. Finally, Ralph discusses the existence and identity of the beast. Ralph believes that things have been falling apart and mentions that the littluns are terrified of the beast. Ralph proceeds to explain that the beast is a figment of the littluns' imaginations and says that it does not exist. 

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renelane's profile pic

renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Ralph calls the meeting after the fire was allowed to go out, and their chance at rescue ruined. However, Ralph is not doing a great job of holding a constructive meeting. He has important ideas, but does not express them well. He tries to get the boys to see that their survival and rescue should be the top priorities, instead of hunting for meat.

Ralph maintains that the huts need to be fortified, fresh water must be attained, a fire needs to be constantly nurtured, and some sort of bathroom facilities need to be structured for hygiene's sake.

Jack grows impatient with this meeting, and leads the boys into  a disruption with his boasts of being a great hunter, and belittling Ralph's concerns.

alekrj's profile pic

alekrj | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

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To keep it orderly lime law and order somewhat
ethanthebest's profile pic

ethanthebest | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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Also Ralph calls meetings to keep peace and order. Two essentials to making a society possible. Later on in the book the conch is destroyed. This represents the ending of the society; All hope is forever gone to the island.