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Why was Ralph chosen over Piggy and Jack to be leader in Lord of the Flies?

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blaze144 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 10, 2013 at 6:05 PM via web

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Why was Ralph chosen over Piggy and Jack to be leader in Lord of the Flies?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 10, 2013 at 6:49 PM (Answer #1)

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Ralph is chosen as chief because he blew the conch that led them all together, and it imbued him with power in the other boys’ eyes.

When the boys decide they should have a chief, Jack is convinced it should be him.

“I ought to be chief,” said Jack with simple arrogance, “because I’m chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp.” (ch 1)

As the head of the choir, Jack is tyrannically used to being obeyed.  He assumes the rest of the boys will listen to him too.  Roger, who is normally quiet, suggests a vote and curtails Jack’ self-appointment.

None of the boys can think of a good reason for Ralph to be leader.  Jack seems the obvious choice, and Piggy is obviously the most intelligent.  But Ralph is attractive, has a stillness, and has the conch.

The being that had blown that, had sat waiting for them on the platform with the delicate thing balanced on his knees, was set apart. (ch 1)

So despite lack of qualifications, Ralph is elected leader of the boys.  He is the one that brought them together, and he has the conch.  Somehow the conch seems to give him special powers.

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