Ralph, Jack and Simon return from their survey of the island, and Ralph
blows the conch to call the other boys back to the assembly point.
Ralph explains to the other boys the results of their exploration of the island, and Jack emphasizes the importance of the hunting group in tracking down pigs. Ralph makes a conch rule. Only the boy holding the conch can speak and only Ralph can interrupt the one who holds the conch, thus a process for orderly and civilized discussions can be established.
Piggy takes the conch advising them that no one will know that they are
stranded on this island.
This clearly upsets the littluns some of whom say they have seen a ‘beastie’ hiding in the woods. Ralph says they will need to light a fire at the top of the island in order to attract passing ships and planes.
Jack immediately puts the meeting into disarray by charging away to start a
fire at the top of the hill. Ralph attempts to maintain order, but fails.
On the mountaintop, Jack and the rest of the boys find a huge patch of dead
wood and immediately start a fire using Piggy’s eyeglasses.
This gets out of control and starts a forest fire to Piggy’s dismay, as he knows that some of the littluns were playing in that part of the woods, and one is burnt to death.
Ralph’s conch shell found by Piggy is the symbol of his authority as leader
over the group, and this is emphasized by the introduction of the conch rule for organizing debates.
The first meeting breaks down because of Jack’s irresponsibility and eagerness to light a fire. This action causes the death of one of the littluns and the war between civilization and barbarism has commenced, and at this stage it is not clear which will win.
At this stage, the boys are still governed by a sense of morality and order
from the society they have left, and their reaction to the death of the young boy is one of confusion and shame. It will be shown that this position drastically changes as their time on the island lengthens.
It is interesting to note that Ralph tries to blame Piggy for the death of the young boy, saying that he
should have been looking after them, yet it was through Piggy’s knowledge that he was able to become leader of the group.