Lord of the Flies: Novel Summary: Chapter 5
Chapter five begins with Ralph deep in thought about what he should do as chief. It seems that Ralph is losing his authority over many of the boys, especially Jack and the hunters. Though Piggy is always at his side to remind him, a still graver problem is emerging for Ralph: he is forgetting the purpose of the signal fire. Like Jack and the hunters who have already forgotten, Ralph too is growing more and more susceptible to the beast’s power of persuasion.
Soon Ralph calls another meeting to discuss matters. Here, it’s made obvious that everyone is becoming more fearful of the beast. Even Jacks’s hunters say that they dream of the beast at night.
Soon killing the pigs is associated with killing Piggy. Although the boys make a joke of this, Golding is very clever in the way he links the two ideas. Indeed killing the pigs is like killing Piggy because with each successful hunt, Piggy loses more and more power as an advocate of order. This is evident from the partial breaking of his glasses. Giving into the beast by hunting is parallel to betraying Piggy, who rejects hunting as a worthwhile endeavor.
During the meeting there is a continued and heightened sense that the beast is real. One of the littluns believes that the beast comes from the sea. This fear is further strengthened when Simon, the first of the biguns to do so, admits the possibility of there being a beast on the island. This makes sense, since Simon is the only one of the boys with the moral conscious to identify the beast when he perceives it. Indeed Simon has a greatly heightened perception of matters the other boys can’t understand. This is be made clearer later in the novel.
Piggy, too, senses something, though not as easily as Simon. Piggy confides to Ralph his fear of Jack. He says, "I’m scared of him, and that’s why I know him. If you’re scared of someone you hate him but you can’t stop thinking about him..." Soon Piggy tells Ralph that Jack hates him too, and this is the first time Ralph realizes that indeed he is hated by Jack. It’s at this time that Ralph clearly sees the distinction between Jack and himself.