Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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Why is Ralph elected leader?

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The power of the conch helped Ralph to be elected leader of the pack of stranded boys in William Golding's novel, Lord of the Flies. After Piggy retrieves the conch and shows Ralph how to blow it, the other boys follow the sound and unite on the beach. When they determine that no grownups are alive, Ralph holds up the conch for silence. A boy calls out, "A chief! A chief!" Jack responds that "I ought to be chief." But when a vote is decided, "every hand outside the choir except Piggy's was raised" for Ralph. Only the members of the choir, of which Jack was the leader, supported Jack. The boys determined that Ralph was more of a natural leader--they quieted when he raised his hand (and the conch)--and his desire to "decide about being rescued" prompted the boys to make a logical choice.

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