How important is Jack Merridew, and would the descent into savagery in Lord of the Flies have been prevented without him?
Since most groups of normal, civilized boys would not digress into the savagery that occurred on the island in Lord of the Flies, I tend to believe that Jack's influence was a major reason for the drastic change. Assuming that Jack had not been present, it is most likely that none of the others would have had the bloodthirsty urges that consumed Jack. As the unquestioned leader, Ralph would have seen to it that the boys stayed focused on keeping the signal fires burning and not roaming the island trying to kill wild pigs. (With all of the fish and other marine wildlife available at their disposal, the pigs would not have even been necessary for survival.) Because of Jack's urges for power and control, the rest of the boys succumbed to his own desires. Since none of the other choirboys displayed the leadership qualities found in Jack, probably no one else would have challenged Ralph's position.