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Why does Piggy dissuade Ralph from giving up his position as chief?

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corey5024 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 20, 2011 at 10:31 AM via web

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Why does Piggy dissuade Ralph from giving up his position as chief?

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lynnett | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 6, 2011 at 5:01 AM (Answer #1)

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Piggy dissuades Ralph for two main reasons. First, Ralph is the only other person thinking rationally and like a 'grown-up' as Piggy says. Ralph is interested in keeping the fire going and trying to be rescued above all else whereas Jack is just interested in meat and hunting. Also, Ralph is the only one who seems to care about Piggy - all the others just make fun of him. If Ralph gave up leadership, Piggy would be at the mercy of the others.

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 15, 2012 at 2:52 AM (Answer #2)

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In chapter five, "Beast from the Water," Ralph briefly considers giving up his role as chief:

"'If you give up,' said Piggy, in an appalled whisper, 'What 'ud happen to me?'" (93).

Piggy is adamantly against the notion of Ralph stepping down from being the chief.  He reasons with Ralph that Jack respects him more.  Piggy's own well-being is his central interest in persuading Ralph to remain as the chief of the boys.  Piggy fears what Jack might do without Ralph to stand in his way. 

"He can't hurt you: but if you stand out of the way he'd hurt the next thing.  And that's me" (93). 

Piggy may have his own best interests at heart, but both he and Simon concur that Ralph is the better chief because his main focus is being rescued, whereas Jack only cares about hunting.  Simon also understands that with Jack as chief, "he'd have all hunting and no fire.  We'd be here till we died" (93).  The two boys convince Ralph that he must try to stay strong in his position of leadership for as long as possible, fearful of the dark potential within Jack Merridew.

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