Lord of the Flies: Writing an Interpretive Composition
Piggy is an important character in William Golding’s Lord of The Flies. The novel follows a group of boys who crash land on a deserted island. At first, the boys believe that they will be rescued and will soon return to their normal lives. The reality of the situation, is that the world outside of the island is in war. The island becomes their new home. Using Piggy’s physical features, mental state, and emotional level, Golding makes Piggy a symbol of security, and civilization. Piggy’s character plays a major role because he serves as Golding’s personification of intelligence, and critical thinking.
Piggy is very important in the story, he is the character that gives the story kind of a mysterious twist; he is the character that turns the story upside down. He is the smartest on the island, without piggy the island would be a huge mess. Piggy from the beginning told the boys how to maintain themselves. Golding’s symbolism is strangely in Piggys appearance. The boys criticize Piggy from when he got on the island all the way up until his death. They nag at him because he is overweight, has asthma, ugly, he has pale skin, and has a speech impediment.
This all symbolizes civilization. Without Piggy on the island the boys would be a mess, and they would lack proper thinking abilities. Even though Piggy is the obvious choice for the boy’s leader, they decide to go for the more athletic, and good-looking one Ralph. Ralph is chosen because the boys didn’t like the fact that Piggy was overweight, and lacked all abilities to be a leader. They didn’t know or even give him a chance to show who he was, had they done that they would have found out that Piggy is the more mature one out of all the boys; he does have the ability to be a leader.
Piggy in every way seemed older, the boys had hair that kept growing, Piggys was already starting to bald because he had handicaps that made him look older then he really was. Piggy is clearly the most mentally stable boy on the island. For example when the boys said there was a ‘beast’ on the island, Piggy knew that no large animal could possibly sustain itself on the island, not by itself anyways. There is nothing on the island, just these boys he tried to tell them that; he tried to tell them there is nothing to fear. “I know there isn’t no beast—not with claws and all that I mean- but I know there isn’t no fear either” (page 84).
He tries to tell the boys, that the only thing to be afraid of is themselves. They have all turned into such monsters and they are the only ‘beasts’ on the island. Piggy stays calm under pressure and thinks through situations clearly and thoughtfully, moreover; he is mature and independent. Piggy should have been elected leader even though his physical features don’t meet the boy’s standards. All of the other boys constantly leave him alone to fend for himself and take care of the young boys on the island. His independence is a principal factor that keeps him from turning into a monster like the rest of the boys do by the middle of the novel.
At the beginning of the boys’ journey, Piggy found the conch, which is a shell that when blown brought all of the boys into a ‘family’ meeting. This allowed the conch to represent order and democracy. Until his death, Piggy tries to make the boys stay calm and close. By the end of the novel on the boys have become completely divided, and Piggy and Ralph are completely on their own. Piggys glasses have been stolen by the other boys in the separate group, in his desperate effort to get his glasses back, he expects the talk to be quite peaceful and mature.
That’s not what he got, when he got to the boy’s camp they began screaming at him calling him down, and making him feel more useless then he already is without his glasses. During his plead Jack decides it is a smart idea to throw a huge bolder on Piggy’s head. I’m not sure if his clear intentions were to kill Piggy or to scare them away, but it deffinatly resulted in Piggy’s death. The boys aren’t very clear and in their own ‘state’ of mind. They have absoloutly no reassurance in their minds, they don’t know what they’re going to do. They have all lost their minds.
The bolder that is crushing down on Piggy is a symbol of radical breakdown of civilization, meaning there is no ‘peace’ anymore. The story kind of took a turn from here, the boys were trying to hunt Ralph, their intentions were to kill him aswell. Piggy’s character was very important to the story. Piggys personality at the beginning of the novel is similar to his personality at the ending. He became the voice of reason on the island, he likes to get every word he needs to say out. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies just wouldn’t have been the same if Piggy wasn’t in the story, it wouldn’t have had the twists and turns it had.