How do boys react to Piggy and what role does he play in their social hierarchy in Lord of the Flies?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, the author depicts Piggy as being slightly obese, sweaty, unfit/asthmatic and short-sighted. Nevertheless, the opening overtures are quite hopeful - Ralph is at least prepared to be courteous and civil to his new acquaintance - and to listen to what he has to say, and later even act upon it's wisdom. However, for me, the true frailty of Ralph's personality (and the naivete of Piggy's!) is brought home to me when I see that Ralph not only betrays a confidence, but also exploits it and laughs it, and in so doing humiliates someone who trusted him and could have become a wise friend. I refer to the example of Piggy disclosing his nickname and asking Ralph to keep it to himself. basically, poor Piggy bugs everyone, despite his intelligence of maybe because of it.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In general, the boys really dislike Piggy.  He is fat, he has asthma, and he is way smarter than most of them.  All of these really combine to make him extremely unpopular.

In Chapter 4, we see that even Ralph really does not like Piggy all that much.  He thinks to himself that Piggy is really dull and boring.  He thinks about how much he likes "pulling his leg."

Piggy is not at the bottom of the hierarchy because he tends to try to involve himself in many things.  But no one really likes him or treats him with respect.

sarahloasby | Student

Piggy is very disliked, he's a lot smarter than the other boys and if a prime target for bullying. He is unfit, fat, asthmatic, short sighted and from a working class background, he was even bullied at school (with the nickname piggy).

Even Ralph sometimes finds Piggy annoying. The only person who is kind to him throughout the book is Simon, who offers Piggy meat when Jack won't let him have any and finds Piggy's glasses for him when Jack hits him.

mkcapen1 | Student

Piggy is a young boy and one of the older boys on the island.  He has crash landed along with the boys from the school.  Piggy and Ralph meet first and together discover the conch.

Piggy is overweight and has severe asthma.  He is nearly blind without his glasses.  He was raised by his aunt who owned a candy shop.  Piggy is the type of child that other kids pick on and mock.  Ralph is his friend but he doesn't really protect him from the other's jokes.  At times Piggy even gets on his nerves.

Piggy is a good person.  Piggy watched after the little boys.  He cared for them and worried about their fears.  He grabs onto everything civilized only to watch it slip away. No one gives Piggy any respect, even when he has the conch.  He is dispensable to the tribe.  After Roger causes him to die, the boys don't really cry about his death.


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Lord of the Flies

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