Lord of the Flies Symbol Project

BY: Parker Stewart

Symbol: Piggy

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Symbolism of Piggy

Piggy in Lord of the Flies is supposed to represent civilization or an adult like figure. Throughout the novel we evidence that he is a logical person, and solves problems with thought and logic. He is different from the other kids because he is smart and strives to be civilized in nature. Other kids however, ignore or make fun of Piggy. His ideas are such that they stress the importance of survival and rescue and not fun like any other normal kid would want to have when being alone on an island with no adults. He also loosely represents hope and rescue for the kids.

Piggy's Adult Nature

Piggy acts almost like an adult in most situations. He usually is in charge of the littluns, and he also focuses heavily on surviving and rescue. This is a drastic change compared to the other kids who love to hunt and have fun instead on doing necessary things. Piggy's adult-like nature is evident when he is talking to the kids in the assembly. He is mad at Jack's hunters for letting out the signal fire for rescue should a boat see it."The first thing we ought to have made was shelters down there by the beach. It wasn't half cold down there in the night. But the first time Ralph says 'fire' you goes howling and screaming up this here mountain. Like a pack of kids" (Golding 45). Piggy explicitly states the hunters are acting like kids. Almost as if he from the standpoint of an adult. He is upset with how the hunters are acting, and how they are not keeping the signal fire first priority. They have let the fire out, and while the kids are not paying much mind, Piggy takes this very seriously because of his intelligence to know that the signal fire is essential.

An Alternative Side to Piggy

Piggy acts as a logical, sensible leader for the kids in the island. He displays qualities that show he is wise and adult-like. This behavior is radically different from the other kids on the island. Piggy is mainly the odd one out on most situations. He doesn't go hunting with the others and is fat which is unlike the other kids. However, when Ralph and Piggy go to visit Jack's tribe in hopes of negotiating with Jack about the new found tribe. When all the sudden it starts to storm. Jack orders his tribe to do a dance. Jack and his tribes make a circle and start dancing and chanting like animals. They seem uncivilized and savage. "Piggy and Ralph, under the threat of the sky, found themselves eager to take a place in this demented but partly secure society" (Golding 152). Piggy is showing an alternative, more primal side of him. He is joining in on a chant and wild dance. In fact, it seems he is eager to join in. This shows that even the most logical and smartest people cannot escape the beast within ourselves. Even Piggy, an adult-like figure, cannot escape the savagery and primal beast that is within us all.

The Loss of Hope

Even though Piggy contains this beast within us, he still represents logic and hope. He represent rescue since he is practically the only one demanding that they keep the signal fire alight. The kids start the fire by using Piggy's specs. Piggy's glasses play an important role in survival and rescue for the kids. Jack steals Piggy's specs to light a fire for a feast. Piggy and Ralph go to Jack and his tribe and demand Piggy's glasses back. Ralph and Jack get in an argument, when all the sudden a huge boulder comes tumbling down the mountain. "The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee...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" (Golding 181). Piggy has been brutally murdered by Jack and his tribe. The kids have lost the only person who held logic, survival, rescue, and hope. The loss of Piggy means the loss of civilization and logic. With Piggy's death there is no longer civilization there is primal savage behavior. There is no longer hope, there is just evil on the island.
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