The Importance of Being Piggy

Topics: William Golding, Faber and Faber, Emotional intelligence Pages: 4 (1421 words) Published: January 25, 2007
"Piggy saw the smile and misinterpreted it as friendliness. There had grown up tacitly among the biguns the opinion that Piggy was an outsider, not only by accent, which did not matter, but by fat, and ass-mar, and specs, and a certain disinclination for manual labour." (Golding 68)

The character Piggy in William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies serves as the intellectual balance to the emotional leaders of a group of shipwrecked British boys. Ironically, their new society values physical qualities over intellectual attributes whereas it is the rational actions that will lead to their survival. Piggy's actions and the reactions from his fellow survivors foreshadow his eventual death. Lord of the Flies is overflowing with creative symbolism, surrounding every event and character; Piggy is no exception. From being the representation of scholars to the comparison with Prometheus, Golding ensures Piggy's short life is well remembered. Piggy's literal function in this novel is to be the intellectual and logical thinker to counteract the emotional thinking of the other boys. From the beginning, Piggy viewed everything logically. He quickly came to the realization that the boys may be on the island for a long time, when he told Ralph "…Nobody don't know we're here. Your dad don't know, nobody don't know…" (9), contrary to Ralph's assumption that his father, who happened to be a naval officer, would simply come and rescue them. While Ralph became the natural leader based on his charisma, "…what intelligence had been shown was traceable to Piggy…" (18/19). However, it is unfortunate that this intelligence eventually led Piggy to his demise. Piggy's direct way of analyzing a situation and voicing his opinion tended to make him quite unpopular. This was demonstrated when the children were excited about the first fire they created on the mountain without a well thought-out rescue plan. Piggy lectured them by asking how they could "…expect to be rescued if [they]...

Bibliography: Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. 1954. Faber and Faber Limited, 1988.
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