1. Discuss how Ralph has changed since he called the first meeting.
“I’m chief. I’ll go. Don’t argue.” (Golding 117)
Ralph has shown change since the first called meeting by he taking his role of chief seriously because the boys blew the only chance they had for a rescued. So he calls for an assembly “not for making jokes or for cleverness.”(Golding 86), but “to put things straight” (Golding 86) with the boys. Ralph also did not want the meeting to “be fun, but business.” (Golding 83). In the end, Ralph becomes protective over the boys when there are reports of a wild beast roaming around the island. He wants to have “a real hunt” (Golding 112). He also takes risks to ensure their security when they were going to hunt the beast in the caves by telling them “I’m chief. I’ll go. Don’t argue.” (Golding 117) demonstrating his firm leadership skills that were not present in the beginning. 2. What has Ralph seen that has caused a loss of innocence?
Ralph sees the little boy, Percival Wemys Madison, when “the littluns pushed Percival forward, then left him by himself.” (Golding 95). Percival reminded Ralph of the little boy with “the mulberry-colored birthmark” (Golding 95) who died in the fire. He tried to make the memory go away and “pushed the thought down and out of sight” (Golding 95). Ralph felt guilty of “insuring that all of them were accounted for,” (Golding 95) and “partly because Ralph knew the answer to at least one question Piggy has asked on the mountaintop.”, so he gave the Percival a chance to speak for himself. Ralph lost his innocence because he knew he was solely responsible for the death of the unknown little boy with the mulberry-colored birthmark. 3. Fear is affecting all of the boys. In what way is the boys’ fear rational? In what way is it irrational?
“We’re frightened sometimes but we put up with being frightened.” (Golding 90)
The boy’s fear is rational because everyone is afraid of something and “we’re frightened sometimes but we put up with being frightened” (Golding 90) for the sake of progress and improvement. But the boys’ fear is irrational because they have a great deal of “the fear talk” (Golding 90). When the fear takes control over the boys’ lives, they “don’t hunt or build or help” (Golding 90). The boys also fear “a thing, a dark thing, a beast, some sort of animal” (Golding 91) and Jack claims the boys down by stating that they “don’t get big animals on small islands” (Golding 91). He also said that they would “only get lions and tigers in big countries like Africa and India—” (Golding 91) to reassure them that they are safe. 4. Identify and discuss examples of the following themes:
-To be civilized is to follow the laws of a society.
“We chose those rocks right along beyond the bathing pool as a lavatory… Now people seem to use anywhere.” (Golding 80)
The boys were doing a good job and Jack ruined it by taking control over his hunters and telling them to hunt instead of following Ralph’s commands to keep the fire going. Jack breaks the rules during the meeting and “gave a wild whoop and leapt down to the pale sand” (Golding 101), acting like an savage animal. The rest of the boys follow him and “became a discursive and random scatter from the palms to the water and away along the beach, beyond night-sight” (Golding 102), leaving only Ralph, Simon, Piggy by themselves to figure out the problem. Laws are created to form a society, society is created to form a civilization, civilizations are joined to form mankind, and laws are the basis and unity of mankind.
-Democracy is only successful as the people who make it work.
“Everyone enjoys speaking together. We decide things. But they don’t get done.” (Golding 79) The boys are not efficient in their jobs which causes the democracy to become unsuccessful. The hunters decide to follow their obsession of hunting instead of keeping the fire going which could have eventually saved them. During the assembly, Jack stops listening and obeying Ralph and the assembly to be “shredded away”. That causes the boys in the meeting to “stood up and shouted” (Golding 89) and caused havoc. Without effective workers, there can be no democracy, without democracy there can be no order, without no order there is chaos, with chaos follows death and demise. 5. What actions on the island mirror the chaos of the adult world? What is the beast? How does it change things on the island for an actual “beast” to appear?
“To Ralph, seated, this seemed the breaking up of sanity. Fear, beasts, no general agreement that the fire was all-important: and when no one tired to get the thing straight the argument sheered off, bring up fresh unpleasant matter.” (Golding 88)
The boys following the rules such as using a specific place as a lavatory, to then going everywhere to do their business is an action that mirrors the chaos of the adult world. In the adult world, people also get tired of what is supposed to be done and suppose they can do whatever they want, not following the rules, which lead to chaos. Also, the dispute between Ralph’s and Jack’s desire and control for power mirrors war and violence that goes on between adults in the adult world. There “isn’t a beast in the forest” (Golding 91), and it is imaginary and is a figment of the little boys’ imagination. The beast is also the fear itself, in a way it terrifies the boys. The fear keeps the boys unified and together, instead of them breaking up into little groups. It changes things on the island because now the boys are ready to overcome their fear and defend themselves against a real beast. 6. Discuss the power struggle between Ralph and Jack. What type of government represents each boy’s idea of order?
“There was the brilliant world of hunting, tactics, fierce exhilaration, skill; and there was the world of longing and baffled commonsense.” (Golding 71) The power struggle between Ralph and Jack is based on what they feel best for the boys. Ralph wants the boys to create an enormous fire to catch any ships passing by, but Jack wants to “have all hunting and no fire.” (Golding 103). Jack also refuses to take Ralph’s command and resists his orders to build shelters. Ralph takes control of the boys and expects them to follow his every order without question and during meetings he does not share the power of the conch with the other boys. If Ralph was represented by a government, it would be a monarchy because he is the chief of the boys and does not share power with Jack or Piggy or any of the other boys. If Jack was represented by a type of government, it would be a republic because he speaks for the boys to Ralph about their problems when Ralph does not take heed of Piggy’s or Simon’s advice. Since there are two types of governments and leaders, there will be a power feud over the loyalties of the boys.