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What's the significance of Piggy's glasses?

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piggyrocksmys... | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 13, 2007 at 2:41 AM via web

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What's the significance of Piggy's glasses?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 13, 2007 at 3:07 AM (Answer #2)

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Piggy's glasses are significant to the boys as they are the means with which the boys are able to get a fire started.  Symbolically, the glasses are significant because they represent the intellectual and ordered side of humanity.  The breaking of the glasses represents the breaking of the last tie to humanity that the boys have.  After this event, it is a downward spiral into primal and animalistic behavior, culminating in Piggy's death.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 13, 2007 at 5:50 AM (Answer #3)

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Piggy's glasses also signify Piggy's ability to "see"--both literally and figuratively.  Without them, he is helples and blind.  He is unable to serve as well as Ralph's right-hand man and voice of logic.  As Piggy is "blinded" is symbolizes the blindness of the Jack's tribe to the evil to which they are succumbing.  Piggy's murder completes the blindness and forces them into total darkness which leads to the hunting of Ralph.

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mariazain | College Teacher | Honors

Posted December 3, 2007 at 3:04 PM (Answer #4)

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Piggy's glasses symbolise civilisation and all that is modern. During their stay at the island, the boys run around, losing more and more of their clothes, whereas Piggy remains intact with his glasses - and does not succumb to tribal savagery. His glasses represent the intellect that holds Ralph's camp together. Once he dies, all is left is the bestial instinct that is displayed by Jack's clan. The breaking of Piggy glasses is seen as the boys' final detachment from what was once a civiliased world they used to live in - a grammar school.

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missjudithann | Teacher | Honors

Posted February 3, 2008 at 7:53 PM (Answer #5)

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Piggy's glasses represent many different ideas, but the literal importance of his glasses has great importance to Ralph and his followers (and later, it is important to Jack's tribe). The initial importance of the specs is that they represent the ability to make fire, which will hopefully provide the rescue that Ralph so desperately seeks. Jack's tribe (after the split) realizes the glasses' importance only when they are in need of a fire over which to roast the pigs they hunt.

Figuratively, Piggy's glasses represent the hope of being rescued, as well as the characterization of Piggy himself. Piggy's eyesight is weak, so he wears these glasses. The ironic part of it is that although his eyesight is weak, his insight is very strong. In this respect, the glasses may represent knowledge, wisdom, insight, etc.

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mahmood786 | College Teacher | Honors

Posted July 20, 2011 at 12:41 AM (Answer #7)

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Piggy's glasses symbolize civilization and when they are broken it symbolizes the destruction of the civilization the boys had at the begining of the book. The conch represents 'Democracy and free speech' or order between the boys and how they could not speak out of turn if they didn't have the conch. When the conch is broken it represents the end of free speech and Democracy.

The conch also symbolizes power, because whenever someone has it, everyone needs to turn their attention to the holder.

 

 

One lense is cracked when Jack punches Piggy in the stomach, causing him to fall over, close to the dead fire on top of the mountain. Piggy's glasses are later completely smashed to pieces,as is the conch, when Piggy is hit a glancing blow by the boulder which Roger levers from the top of Castle Rock. The blow from the boulder sends Piggy flying from the cliff and he lands with considerable force on a rock in the sea, smashing his head open and spilling his brains across the rock.



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gcarden498 | Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM (Answer #8)

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Piggy's glasses represent scientific knowledge.  It can be used to aid humanity or to destroy it. The fact that the glasses can be used to kindle a fire is a positive attribute; however, that same fire may turn into a destructive force when misused. Certainly, this has relevance in a world that has access to atomic energy, cloning and genetic engineering.

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chip123 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted October 10, 2011 at 6:12 PM (Answer #9)

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Everyone has written about how Piggy's glasses represent science, civilization, humanity, etc.

These are all true, but in a way his glasses also represent weakness. Without them, he can't see, nor can he survive.

In fact, none of the boys could survive without them, since his glasses are the firestarter which in turn provides light, warmth, and cooked food.

This is one of the ironies in Golding's work, that while civilizaiton is strength, in a certain way it is also weakness. While it strenghtens man and gives him abilites to behave in a lifestyle more complex than that of the animals, he comes to totally rely on it. In it's absence, unable to manipulate the natural world, he is helpless.

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jennluvzu | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 17, 2011 at 9:17 AM (Answer #10)

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Piggy's glasses are a symbol of civilization. They are a constant in the boys lives on the island, a small piece of civilization they can still cling to. When the glasses are first cracked, it is symbolic of a signifigant drop in the civilization of the boys. When they arestolen, it symbolizes how power has been passed to Jack, which we, the reader can infer, means that civilization will soon be completely lost.

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anjiyaadil11 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 18, 2011 at 8:33 PM (Answer #11)

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piggys glasses signify law,order and political legitimacy

 

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bnikki1996 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 12, 2011 at 8:06 AM (Answer #13)

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What is the significance of Piggy's glasses?

What is the significance of Piggy's glasses?

Piggy's glasses signify the ability to see clearly, to percieve whats best

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janneth22 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 3, 2012 at 10:43 AM (Answer #15)

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What is the significance of Piggy's glasses?

What is the significance of Piggy's glasses?

Piggy's glasses would help them build fire which would lead to slavation. They had faith that the planes above would see it.

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nusrat1 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 8, 2012 at 2:09 AM (Answer #16)

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the glasses represtns man's ability to have a solution to his problem when he  never expected it at that point in time. The boys were in the island but they never expect the glass which Piggy was haivg for a long will be used by them as a sumbol of rescue. The glasses was used by Ralph to make the boys come together and sort out their way on how to get rescued from the unfriendly islanffd they thought is friendly though. The glass serverde as something divinely given to the boys when it need was not yet known by the boys in the island.

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lordoftheflies2012 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 8, 2012 at 3:02 AM (Answer #17)

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i think piggy's glasses represent advances in technology, piggy with his glasses is more advanced than all the other boys, it could be the key to what makes him so smart. when piggy has'nt got his glasses, all he IS "islanded in a sea of meaningless colour" which suggests he has become totally reliant on them. this apparent weakness is reflected in chapter 4 when piggy 'forgot his timidity in the agony of his loss', because he tries to put his point across and then Jack loses it and Piggy gets punched and his glasses get broken (well, one of them anyway). when piggy's glasses are broken this is a key point in the novel, his glasses were only half-broken then which symbolizes the half destruction of civilization.

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lskbraundt | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:01 AM (Answer #18)

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The glasses shows the coexistance of good and evil.

On one hand, the glasses allows Piggy to see the truth and remind Ralph to maintain law and order. Yet the glasses also has the power to set a fire which can induce salvation or destruction. 

So even it seems ironic, this what golding wants to tells the readers. The idea of interdependence and coexistance actually threads through the whole book, like Piggy and Lord of the Flies are both symbols of pigs, yet their nature is totally different. 

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ecrunner | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:45 AM (Answer #19)

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Piggy's glasses symbolise civilisation and all that is modern. During their stay at the island, the boys run around, losing more and more of their clothes, whereas Piggy remains intact with his glasses - and does not succumb to tribal savagery. His glasses represent the intellect that holds Ralph's camp together. Once he dies, all is left is the bestial instinct that is displayed by Jack's clan. The breaking of Piggy glasses is seen as the boys' final detachment from what was once a civiliased world they used to live in - a grammar school.

Speaking of grammar I don't remember "civilization" ever being spelled with an "s", not to be a jerk but I just thought it was ironic that a teacher wouldn't check their work.

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Sephu | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 12, 2013 at 4:20 AM (Reply #1)

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Really? Civilised is the British way of saying Civilized. It's just one of those spelling differences whereas labor/labour and color/colour.

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no1uno | Student, Grade 10 | Honors

Posted April 19, 2012 at 8:46 PM (Answer #20)

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They are signinficant because they are signinficant/

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nyx99999 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 9, 2012 at 10:27 PM (Answer #21)

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Piggy's glasses are the only link to civilization the boys have.  They mark that Piggy himself represents civilization.

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chocolatekirby007 | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted September 16, 2013 at 9:09 AM (Answer #22)

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Piggy's glasses represent civilisation, and the last remnant of civilisation that the boys brought with them to, the island.

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maria-vivanco | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted January 28, 2014 at 3:28 PM (Answer #23)

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Piggy is the most intelligent and rational boy in the group. His glasses can represent the power of science and intellectualism in society. The symbolism of the glasses is clear from the start when the boys use them to focus the sunlight and start a fire. When the hunters from Jack's group raid Ralph's camp and steal the glasses (which allows them to make fire), leaving Ralph's group helpless. 

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Yojana_Thapa | TA , Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted January 31, 2014 at 11:09 PM (Answer #24)

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Piggy's glasses symbolizes intelligence. The fact that his glass crack foreshadows the death of intelligence and civilization. The glasses are important to piggy and in the middle of the novel when his glasses are destroyed it can foreshadow himself, that he will soon be destroyed. The glasses symbolizes Piggy, it is the good side of him. The glasses were the one thing that helped Ralph make the fire.  

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crystaltu001 | TA , Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted August 12, 2014 at 1:56 AM (Answer #25)

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The glasses were important to the boys' survival in the book. His glasses created the fires they needed. Piggy's glasses symbolized intelligence and a high class society. In the book, the pair of glasses is like a fortune teller. Once Piggy was dead and his glasses broke, chaos emerged on to that island.

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rubyamazebeans | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 12, 2014 at 10:23 PM (Answer #26)

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does anyone have any quotes for this?

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taangerine | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted August 16, 2014 at 2:31 AM (Answer #27)

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In Lord of the Flies, Piggy's glasses are important because it gives out an insight of what is going on outside of the others. Piggy is recognized are the person with perception and intelligence. Without his glasses, things gradually became disruptive in the society. And, soon after Piggy's death, things became messy and reckless on the island. 

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