Lord of the Flies



Piggy represents the pseudo-scientific modern mind. He understands the practical application of assemblies, committees, order, and so on. He fails, however, to understand the deeper and more complex issues at play in the human heart and mind. Piggy is able to reduce life to a simple pattern of events, a cause and effect, but he is at a loss when it comes to finding his own place in life. His only hope is to survive without being bullied too badly. Yet, he cannot help but bring troubles upon himself—first, by giving away the secret of what the boys back home used to call him; second, by drawing attention to his defects, which are plain enough without his having to point to them; third, by a kind of incessant whining that does nothing but make him appear effeminate and weak; and fourth, by his very unscientific disinclination to have a look at the “beast” in broad daylight.

Piggy’s good qualities emanate from his compassion for the young, for whom he feels commiseration, since they are in a position with which he is familiar: one of vulnerability. His loyalty to Ralph is also commendable. It is this loyalty, along with the advice he is able to give, that help elevate Ralph from a one-dimensional character into a living, breathing boy.

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