In Chapter 4 of Lord of the Flies by William Golding, what does Piggy suggest the boys could make with the materials available on the island?
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Piggy suggests that they make a sundial. However, even by this time, Piggy is considered an outcast, even by Ralph. As Golding writes,"Piggy was an outsider, not only by accent, which did not matter, but by fat, and ass-mar, and specs, and a certain disinclination for manual labor." So, as Piggy continues to argue for a sundial, Ralph tells him to "shut-up". Piggy's suggestion is quickly forgotten as Ralph sees a passing ship, but notices that the signal fire has gone out and there are no choir boys around to tend it. The choir members soon show up with a butchered pig and an argument ensues between Ralph and Jack about the fire.
While Ralph, Maurice, and Simon are swimming in the bathing pool, Piggy is aimlessly picking up things around the perimeter of the pool. Since he can't swim due to his asthma, he is trying to occupy himself. He is an intellectual person, so he is looking for something that will stimulate his mind. He suggests to Ralph that they could use sticks to make sundials so every boy could have his own clock. The advantage, he explains, is that "then we should know what the time was." Ralph is completely uninterested in this suggestion and mocks Piggy for it. He points out facetiously that they could also make things like an airplane, TV, and steam engine. Time is the one thing the boys on the island have an over-abundance of. Measuring time by the hour or minute would have no practical purpose, except to someone like Piggy who viewed life in grown-up terms. Golding in this passage describes Piggy's wispy hair, "as though baldness were his natural state." Piggy is the one boy who consistently tries to think and act like an adult. In addition, he has natural organizing abilities. He is the only one who wanted to catalog the littluns, and he often decries the chaotic actions of the boys. Piggy's interest in making a sundial reinforces his characteristics as an intellectual, mature, and organized young man. It also emphasizes how different he is from the other boys.
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