Explain the following sentence: ”Piggy cannot think as the others think, or value what they value”.

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robertwilliam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Only, decided Ralph as he faced the chief’s seat, I can’t think. Not like Piggy.

Once more that evening Ralph had to adjust his values. Piggy could think. He could go step by step inside that fat head of his, only Piggy was no chief. But Piggy, for all his ludicrous body, had brains. Ralph was a specialist in thought now, and could recognize thought in another.

Piggy is easily the most intelligent boy of the group, the one with the clearest and most rational view of things (his intellectual clear-sightedness is symbolised by the glasses, which are closely associated - metaphorically and literally - with Piggy's foresight and sight!).

Piggy alone amongst the boys doesn't enjoy the hunting - because of his obesity and asthma, which mean he can't enjoy the physical rush of the hunt - but also because he sees how pointless it is. Piggy knows that the key point is making sure they are rescued, and remaining civilised:

“I didn’t vote for no ghosts!”
He whirled round on the assembly.
“Remember that, all of you!”
They heard him stamp.
“What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages? What’s grown-ups going to think? Going off—hunting pigs—letting fires out—and now!”

Piggy isn't seduced by the glamour or excitement of hunting, nor by the strength and force of Jack. All the other boys - even Ralph - are, to various extents. Piggy is a better thinker: and what he values is less cool and less glamorous certainly, but more sensible.

Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

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