What Does Piggy Represent in William Golding 'Lord of the Flies': Critical Essay

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‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding is portrayed by an abnormal take on leadership skills and logic. The two main characters are Ralph and Jack, and both have two completely opposite personalities, resulting in conflict regarding who is the main leader of society. From the start, there is one character that stands out, his name is Piggy. He is quite intelligent and carries on smart decisions to help aid the society of twelve-year-old boys that are left to fend for themselves on an island during a world war. Thus, leaving the decisions up to them to pick out who should be their leader and ensure chaos doesn’t take place.

Notably, Piggy is represented as a very intelligent and logical figure. He is constantly coming up with new ideas to improve the ways of living on the island. For example, when he figures out that the conch can be used as a device to gather the community together and converse about establishing rules and order amongst the group. When Jack and the choir break off from the group and form another group, all rules and order are broken, especially the conch. “Now Jack was yelling too and Ralph could no longer make himself heard. Jack had backed right against the tribe and they were a solid mass of menace that bristled with spears” (Golding, 200-201). This quote represents that Jack isn’t a good fit to be a leader. He isn’t fit to be a leader because he left the choir and he broke the rules. More or less, Ralph was not fit to be a leader as well, due to his not being able to make himself heard. This is an essential feature of being a leader, hence if no one listens to you then you can’t lead them. Piggy’s glasses are then turned into a symbol representing the start of the fire and salvation without his intention.

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In spite of Piggy’s abilities to be a leader, he is not admired enough to be a leader on the island. In view of the fact that Piggy’s differences cause the boys to see him as unfit to be a leader. Piggy was raised differently than most of the boys. He speaks differently and looks differently. As a result of all these qualities, the boys select a different boy to be their leader. While Piggy may have been the most qualified to lead the boys while alone on the island, he was not able to and ultimately dies.

In the process of trying to prevent chaos, the boys seem to allow the most chaotic situations possible to occur. Several of the boys that came over on the plane were killed. With two different boys leading with opposite opinions, it was very hard for peace to be maintained. Piggy and Ralph may appear as the most accountable for the boys on the island, but in the end, Ralph’s personality results in him being a better leader. Considering the age of the boys on the island, they are not as advanced as Piggy and don’t contain the knowledge he has. Though Piggy would have been the best-fit leader on the island, he was not selected as leader. Because of this, you could say the reason such events occurred is because proper leadership was not had.

Briefly, Piggy developed throughout the story by expressing himself and finding his self-identity. Being unable to achieve the status of a leader, Piggy represents a main theme in the book: failure of achieving a peaceful society when faced with savagery. At the beginning of the book, Piggy was a selfish person. He developed and grew into a less selfish person and he represented rationalism and discipline, which are identified as the most effective at everything by Jack. Ultimately, being a leader requires more than just smarts and logic, it requires the people’s trust.

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What Does Piggy Represent in William Golding ‘Lord of the Flies’: Critical Essay. (2023, November 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/what-does-piggy-represent-in-william-golding-lord-of-the-flies-critical-essay/
“What Does Piggy Represent in William Golding ‘Lord of the Flies’: Critical Essay.” Edubirdie, 15 Nov. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/what-does-piggy-represent-in-william-golding-lord-of-the-flies-critical-essay/
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