Give two reasons why Ralph was elected the leader.

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have always wondered that very same question.  It is clear to the reader fairly early on in the novel that Ralph is not good at leading.  That's partly because Jack outright defies him most of the time, and partly because Ralph doesn't have the courage to punish those who don't obey the rules.  But why elect Ralph in the first place?  

I think one reason is the simple power of the conch shell.  The conch is a power symbol throughout the novel, and it is Ralph that first blows it.  The boys are sort of in awe at Ralph and the shell.  

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. 

Ralph has a sort of quiet confidence about him.  He's not always posturing and bullying the way that Roger and Jack do.  He's not needy the way that Piggy is.  Ralph exudes the appearance and supposed actions of a natural leader.  In the beginning of the novel, his decisions support those feelings as well.  The boys do see Ralph as a natural leader, because they agree with his ideas and rules.  They make sense.  The need for a fire is smart.  A dedicated bathroom area is smart.  The need to build shelters is smart.  All of those actions help cement the idea that Ralph is a good choice for being chief.  

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Lord of the Flies

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