Regarding Roger, Ralph, Piggy, and Simon in Lord of the Flies, what abstract ideas might these characters represent?
Lord of the Flies has been called "a fable in which the characters are symbols for abstract ideas."
If considered as a psychological and religious allegory, Golding's novel Lord of the Flies has characters who represent various qualities found in human beings.
- Ralph is the charismatic leader, the physical presence needed to attract followers. He represents common sense, but at the same time, he also represents the ingenuous type of leader who is unprepared for those who are devious and evil
- Piggy is the pure intellectual who assesses problems empirically. For instance, when Ralph asks him if there can be a beast, Piggy replies that if there were, there would be no civilizations
“Life […] is scientific, that’s what it is. In a year or two when the world is over they’ll be traveling to Mars and back. I know there isn't no beast – not with claws and all that I mean
- Jack represents the innate evil and savagery within humans. He rules by intimidation and power. His even darker side is represented by Roger, whose arm is only restrained by the taboos of his society when he first wants to throw stones at little Henry on the seashore.
Roger's arm was conditioned by a civilization that knewnothing of him and was in ruins.
- Jack and especially Roger represent the anarchy that results once society breaks down.
- Simon is the mystic. Intuitively, he understands before all the others that the beast lies within the hearts of man. Because he senses rather than rationalizes knowledge, it is impossible for him to articulate his realization that the evil on the island is intrinsic to the boys and not a tangible "beast."