In chapter five of Lord of the Flies, why does Piggy persuade Ralph to stay chief?

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

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In chapter five of Lord of the Flies, Piggy persuades Ralph to remain chief out of a sense of self-preservation.  Piggy views Ralph as one of the few voices of reason and compassion on the island and counts on Ralph to stand between him and the more vicious, brutal boys like Jack or Roger.  Piggy has good reason to fear Jack; the boy has verbally abused and threatened him physically, already pushing him once and breaking the lens of his glasses.  Piggy loathes the idea of Jack taking over the tribe and worries to Ralph:

"If you give up," said Piggy, in an appalled whisper, "what 'ud happen to me?" (92)

Piggy has the clarity of self-perception to realize that Jack hates him.  The larger boy persuades Ralph to continue on as chief, because in that position, Ralph can shield him from Jack's potential cruelty.