Critical Appraisal of Piggy's Character in Lord of the Flies

525 Words3 Pages
Piggy, by virtue of himself, has no real significance among the majority of the boys on the island. In comparison, the symbolism that surrounds his character is so significant, that it drives the narrative. This is because he represents the scientific and intellectual aspects of civilisation. Throughout the narrative, he is given indirect attention and significance, by virtue of what he gives importance too. For example, the conch would have never had any significance if Piggy hadn’t found a use for it. Also, if he had not needed his glasses, they would not have any place in the narrative, as an item of such necessity. In this scenario, the boys might have found some other means to make fire, and this would have negated most of the savagery of Jack and his tribe. Therefore, the very presence of the glasses, provides a startling contrast between the savagery of Jack and his tribe, and the civilised behaviour of Ralph, Piggy and Simon. Because of Piggy, the conch represents democracy and legality, while the glasses represent rationality and intellect, and become the means for survival on the island. As the narrative progresses, the savagery of the boys becomes more and more evident. But even so, the glasses hold a position of power, while, even the conch looses its position of authority. This may hint that Golding means to convey, that savagery cannot exist by itself, that even in the midst of the savage instinct of the animal, the basal intellect of the human, must exist. It is important to consider that Piggy’s significance in the story is only in relation to the societal degeneration of the boys on the island. While the other major characters of the story have a sense of individuality in their personalities that do not contribute to the symbolism of the narrative (such as Ralph's boyish playfulness, and Jack's being the head boy), Piggy's personality is mostly
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