Piggy in Lord of the Flies

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The character Piggy in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies helps to develop foundations of truth and understanding in the story. Throughout the story, Piggy is associated with intellect, logic, and often an adult voice on a child’s island. Piggy offers direct and to the point advice as to how to go about doing daily chores and running the government of the island. Piggy functions not only as a character in the novel but also as an important element to develop symbolism and theme.

Piggy and his glasses play a key role on the island. In the story his glasses are used to start the fire which sustains the hopes of being rescued. When Jack and his group of hunters steal Piggy’s glasses, the hopes of being rescued are also stolen, but more importantly the belief that Ralph holds onto of remaining the leader. As Jack and his hunters retreat into the jungle, Golding notes “He was a chief now in truth; and he made stabbing motions with his spear. From his left hand dangled Piggy’s broken glasses” (168). With the theft of the glasses, Jack’s ascension to the throne is complete; Piggy’s view of the island is utterly distorted because without his glasses, he is unable to see the island for what it really is. All throughout the story, Piggy cleans his glasses when things become to complex for him to comprehend. When he and Ralph are discussing the state of the island after Jack and the hunters leave, Piggy admits confusion and “rubbed his glasses slowly and [begins to think]. When he understood how far Ralph had gone toward accepting him he flushed pinkly with pride” (140).

Piggy is a symbol of the main source of intellect and reason on the island, often giving an adult opinion to issues at hand. He comes up with countless ideas as to how to improve life on the island and the way to go about doing that. After the fire started by the hunters consumes most of the jungle, Piggy emphasizes that “The first thing we ought to have made was shelters down there by the...
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