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From the beginning of the novel and throughout, we note that the kids like Ralph. He is kind, logical, confident, and has a good sense of justice. He also is a planner. He is the one who assigns jobs for the kids in order to assure their survival until they are rescued. He is smart enough to ally himself with Piggy, who is also logical and intelligent. They are the thinkers of the island, and the kids are ready and willing to put their fate into Ralph and Piggy's hands...all, that is, except Jack.
Ralph is also elected by the group to be the leader. Probably something in his face, or his mannerisms. He is a good looking boy, tall, and carries himself well. Most leaders have these qualities, and humans look for these qualities in their leaders more often than they look for shorter, unappealing people to take care of things.
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