Character Development of Piggy

Avery Goforth and Autumn Jones


Piggy is a character that lacks leadership qualities but has a lot of knowledge of the world and how to make things work. He has been through stuggle, but nothing like being stranded on an island with a bunch of other kids. He struggles with his self image and constantly is tormented and looked down upon by the other boys in the group. Piggy gives off a very innocent vibe in the very beginning of the book, smart but insecure, in the middle, experiences deindividualization where he feels the need to participate in killing Simon and later tells himself it wasn't murder, then towards the end realizes the group needs to pull it together in order to survive but ends up dying in the process of explaining that.

Quote #1

"I don't care what they call me," he said confidentially, "so long as they don't call me what they used to call me in school."

Ralph was faintly interested.

"What was that?"

The fat boy glanced over his shoulder, then leaned toward Ralph.

He whispered.

"They used to call me Piggy!" (1.65-70)

Analysis #1

Piggy starts out with his only "friend" being Ralph. Everyone in his old life used to tease him for him glasses and being larger. It's obvious that he's insecure and it makes him more hesitant to step up and say what he thinks about the whole situation.
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Quote #2

"Piggy and Ralph, under the threat of the sky, found themselves eager to take a place in this demented but partly secure society..."It was an accident," said Piggy suddenly, “that’s what it was. An accident.” His voice shrilled again. “Coming in the dark—he hadn’t no business crawling like that out of the dark. He was batty. He asked for it.” He gesticulated widely again. “It was an accident.” (Pg 218 & 225)

Analysis #2

In this quote you can see how Piggy begins to struggle with right and wrong. Although he knows what he is doing is wrong, he continues to do it because he experiences deindividualtion. He wants to follow to group. Later, he tells Ralph and himself that the murder of Simon was "an accident" so he doesn't have to face the guilt of committing murder.

Quote #3

"I got this to say. You’re acting like a crowd of kids...Which is better—to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is?...Which is better—to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?...Which is better, law and rescue, or hunting and breaking things up?" (Pg 259)

Analysis #3

In this quote, Piggy has finally reached a point where he has had enough of all of the chaos with the other boys. He comes to his senses and realizes that if they want to survive they need to work together and establish rules if they are wanting to get off the island. Piggy goes to Jacks tribe to try to explain this to the other boys, and ends up getting killed because of it.
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Piggy was one of the few who managed to maintain a sense of right and wrong throughout the novel. In the beginning he starts off insecure and cautious about things. As we get more into the book, Piggy gets caught up in the reanactment of the hunt in Jacks tribe and ends up participating in Simons murder, even though he knew it was wrong. He later blames it on simon, saying he was "asking for it" and that it was an accident, only to make himself feel better because he knows what he did was wrong. At the end of the book Piggy attempts to talk to the boys and explain to them how they need to work together in order to make it off the island alive and ends up getting killed in the process.

Discussion questions

What qualities does Piggy lack that keeps him from being a leader and does he begin to develop any of these throughout the novel?

How would things have been different if Piggy hadn't have been killed?

Does Piggy ever truly lose sight of right and wrong?