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Presently Golding

By Vensito Apr 18, 2013 875 Words
An Analysis of Extraordinary Proportions
“The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist. Piggy, saying nothing, with no time for even a grunt, traveled through the air sideways from the rock, turning over as he went. The rock bounded twice and was lost in the forest. Piggy fell forty feet and landed on his back across the square red rock in the sea. His head opened and stuff came out and turned red. Piggy's arms and legs twitched a bit, like a pig's after it has been killed. Then the sea breathed again in a long, slow sigh, the water boiled white and pink over the rock; and when it went, sucking back again, the body of Piggy was gone” (Chapter 11, Page 387-small book). Ever since the agreement to appoint Ralph as chief, what little order there was on the island began to fade. Jack in particular aided in seeing through the destruction of law and rules with his own savage desire to hunt and kill. He was off hunting somewhere. Ralph and Simon too experienced a bit of savagery in some aspects. It seemed that Piggy was the only true embodiment of society on the island. What happens when the last vestige of society in washed away to savagery? Through metaphor, personification and a chilling choice of diction, this passage illustrates the last vestige of society being destroyed and washed away in the cruel sea, gone forever.

Piggy was order. Jack is a savage. Unfortunately these two entities cannot co-exist in harmony. They fail. All throughout the book, Piggy has been subjected to derision from just about everyone on the island. Ralph took into pleasure teasing Piggy because it was fun, and frankly, he did really care about what Piggy had to say. He threw Piggy insults. But it just didn’t matter to Ralph. Jack shared a special fierce enmity with Piggy. Piggy ruined fun with his constant whining about the conch, his specs, etc. They would butt heads. Piggy became a bore to everyone. He made everyone angry. However, it was not only Piggy that suffered, but the conch as well. The tool of order and civil structure, the conch, was the object of which Piggy would continually attempt to maintain order. Of course, the conch exploding of the rock would signify the end to any sense of stability. It didn’t just break, it “exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist” (Golding 387). Just like the conch, order exploded into fragments and ceased to exist, choked out by the ways of savagery. The only tool, perhaps the most important object in the book, shattered in pieces, just like how order shattered into pieces. Piggy himself would become a metaphor of such ways. “Piggy's arms and legs twitched a bit, like a pig's after it has been killed” (Golding 387). The one thing Jack wanted to do was kill a pig. His deep obsession caused the fallout of the group and the formation of his own tribe, founded on the basis of thievery and savagery. He grew corrupt. He enjoyed the thrill of hunt and hated order and rules. Rules were purely inane to him, and only served to get in his way of hunting. The hunters crowned him king! So, what better way to kill order, than to kill the one named Piggy? It was two birds with one stone. (HA one stone…). This metaphor both began and finished the dilapidation of order. Some sided with Jack, some to Ralph, and some between. How sad and somewhat fitting Piggy would have to die as if he were the pig. Finishing off the passage, personification displays how the sea, swept away Piggy’s lifeless body and with it, the remainder of a broken system of law and order. What’s interesting is the phrase “breathed again in a long, slow sigh” (Golding 387). It’s almost as if the sea is somewhat depressed that the children have become so savage that they have resorted to killing the only sensible one on the island. However it could also relate to the savagery of the kids. The sea swallowed up Piggy, erasing him for good, just as the kids swallowed up any sort of order and, later on, how the fire nearly swallowed up the island as Jack tried to find and kill Ralph. In any sense, the ocean slowly swallowed up Piggy in its unforgiving graces. It swept him away…

Piggy only wished to keep things in order. He never wanted to hurt anyone and in his effort to maintain peace, he was killed. His efforts were a waste as he and the conch fade out of existence. This passage shows that the efforts of maintaining order would be wasted on those refusing to cooperate, only desiring their own way. Sadly, only Ralph seemed to care about Piggy’s death. In the end, Piggy wanted to be rescued and in a sense, his death was a rescue. He left an island of pure savagery and chaos, chaos that sent the whole island up in flames. This passage would send what little society there was left, to oblivion.

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