Piggy Lord of the Flies – Character Analysis

In the novel Lord of the Flies written by William Golding many characters seem to stand out. One character in particular stands out more then the rest of the young boys. Piggy is a young boy whose character makes an appearance at the very beginning of the novel. His physical appearance and his intellect as well as his determination makes Piggy a key person in the survival of the boys as well as a victim of unnecessary taunting. Because of his physical appearance and his nickname, Piggy seems to be the target of some physical and verbal abuse. Even though the novel ends with a tragedy of Piggy’s life, his character plays a very important role in the story of how the boys will survive while they are out on their own.

At the beginning of the novel, Piggy’s physical looks make him stand out from the other boys. “He was shorter than the fair boy and very fat. He came forward, searching out safe lodgments for his feet, and then looked up through thick spectacles.” (Pg. 7) Piggy’s physical traits appear to be extremely different from the other young boys. His name also throws the boys into a fit of laughter because of his looks. He told Ralph when they first meet that people back home used to call him Piggy. However, Piggy specifically told Ralph not to tell any of the other boys for fear of being made fun of. Ralph ignored Piggy’s request and Piggy then became the laughing stock of all the other boys. Another way, which makes Piggy, an outsider is the fact that he wears his glasses. His glasses soon become the key tool in starting the rescue fire.

Another trait that Piggy shows the reader is the fact that he seems to know about more things than the other boys.

The fat boy shook his head. “When we was coming down I looked through one of them windows. I saw the other part of the plane.  There were flames coming out of it”. (pg. 8)

Here he shows his intellect by telling Ralph that the pilot must not have been able to get away safely because the plane was on fire. Ralph had thought that the pilot just dropped off the boys on the island and taken off. Piggy knew differently. Piggy was smart enough to observe the rest of the plane as it was going down and know that the pilot probably did not make it either.

Piggy, later in the novel, showed his intellect through explaining the importance of the fire. “’Course we have. ‘Cos the smoke’s a signal and we can’t be rescued if we don’t have smoke.” (pg. 173) Piggy was explaining to the other boys that without having the fire on their side of the island, the idea of being rescued is lowered. Piggy uses his intelligence to explain to the rest of the boys what they need in order to survive and be rescued. Without Piggy’s survival mind, the other boys would have had a real tough time with their survival. Piggy uses his intellect to educate the others and manages to be the only boy that stays somewhat civilized out of the group of boys and does not become savagely and uncivilized nearly as much as the other boys. Thanks to Piggy’s clear way of looking at the entire survival situation and him being able to see what was happening to the other boys, he manages to save them before they become savages.

Piggy has the type of attitude that when he decides he wants to get things done he makes a point to make sure it happens. “That’s them, they blinded me. See? That’s Jack Merridew. You call an assembly, Ralph, we got to decide what to do.” (pg. 169) Even though all of the other boys made fun of and picked on him, Piggy was still able to stay strong and stand up for himself. Jack and some of the other boys took Piggy’s glasses as part of the war and Piggy wanted them back. At this point in the novel, Piggy is probably the most determined that he has ever been the whole time. Without Piggy’s glasses, not only can he not see, but the boys now have no way of starting a fire without them. Piggy realizes that they are not only essential to him but also to their survival and rescues.

Piggy was an extremely important character in the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Even though his physical appearance and his nickname was the cause of the other boys poking fun at him, Piggy is able to stay himself throughout his entire journey right up until the end. Piggy’s intellect not only helps him, but it also helps to keep somewhat of an order as well as come up with and help explain methods of being rescued to all the other boys. One other key aspect to Piggy’s character is his determination. This allows him to go for what he really wants in order to satisfy him as well as to help the boys be rescued. Because of his physical appearance, he was taunted a lot. However, because of his determination and intellect, he helps he other boys to stay alive and hope for survival.

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