How does Piggy change throughout Lord of the Flies?

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In many ways, Piggy doesn't change at all. When he is first introduced to the group by the nickname he'd previously asked Ralph not to share, he becomes the laughingstock of the group. The boys continually insult him, making fun of his weight and his asthma, and Piggy remains an...

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In many ways, Piggy doesn't change at all. When he is first introduced to the group by the nickname he'd previously asked Ralph not to share, he becomes the laughingstock of the group. The boys continually insult him, making fun of his weight and his asthma, and Piggy remains an outsider for much of the novel. In fact, when Jack is making a reach for leadership, one of his main arguments against Ralph is that he says things that sound like Piggy. Piggy remains loyal to Ralph's leadership, recognizing him as the boy the group has chosen, and tries to provide adult-like advice when he can. He worries more than once throughout the novel about what adults would think of the behavior on the island. As Ralph is gradually alienated himself, Piggy is his faithful ally. When their group is whittled down to just the two of them and Samneric, Piggy clings to the rules of order which he thinks will save him. Of all the boys on the island, Piggy is one of the least changed.

Something does happen to him, though, in chapter 9. Jack asks them to take part in his tribe and his dancing. Perhaps Ralph's thoughts reflect the needs of Piggy as well:

Piggy and Ralph, under the threat of the sky, found themselves eager to take a place in this demented but partly secure society. They were glad to touch the brown backs of the fence that hemmed in the terror and made it governable.

Piggy (and Ralph) see this window to belong to the group, enjoying its protection, and for a moment, they are swept up in the chaotic frenzy of blood and killing. As Simon comes out of the forest, they charge him with the rest of the group.

Piggy's reaction afterward shows that he tries to distance himself from Simon's murder, claiming that he was on the outside of the circle. For such a character of reason, the excuse that it was an "accident" falls a bit flat, considering he did nothing to prevent the murder.

Piggy dies proclaiming the value of reason over passions, of rules over killing. His core set of beliefs remains fairly stagnant throughout the novel.

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Piggy is one of two characters in the novel to undergo a dramatic transformation: that of their entire state of being, from living to dead. The other is Simon. William Golding’s description of Simon’s death is ambiguous, so it can be seen as accidental. In the case of Piggy, however, it is clear that Roger kills him with the giant boulder. The sacrifice of these two boys represents the symbolic end of faith and reason, respectively. Simon, whose mystical nature indicates that he represents religion or superstition, is the first to go. Piggy stands for intellect, science, and technology and is taken second. With both of these forces removed, the boys are left with primal instincts.

One important change that Piggy undergoes is the symbolic maiming or blindness that occurs when his glasses are first broken, and then the remaining half is stolen. While the glasses represent technology, they also stand for his elevated status: he is Prometheus, the fire giver. The other children’s willingness to hurt him by depriving him of a necessary tool indicates their increasing cruelty. Piggy must cope with his disability, which grows extreme after Jack steals his last lens. The loss of sight also indicates a different type of loss: the loss of his intellectual insights into their situation. He had become a valued second-in-command because, as Ralph says, he could think.

Piggy’s final change is from adviser to teacher. Without him to rely on, Ralph must remember not what he said but how he thought. With Piggy’s death and disappearance, his transformation is complete. Only through his sacrifice could Ralph become whole. Piggy has transmitted to Ralph some of the analytical skills he requires to survive.

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Piggy is portrayed as a physically weak yet intelligent boy who is a fierce supporter of Ralph and an adamant proponent of civilization. Piggy remains dedicated to civilization from the beginning to the end of the novel and his personality and perspective never really changes throughout the story. From the beginning of the story, Piggy tries to help organize the boys and establish a civilized society on the island. He continually criticizes and scolds the other boys for not following Ralph's directives and disobeying the conch. Piggy is diametrically opposed to Jack from the onset of the story and his negative feelings towards him do not change as the novel progresses. As the boys gradually descend into savagery and begin neglecting Ralph's orders in favor of following Jack, Piggy remains loyal to Ralph and does not waver in his support of civilization. Piggy never hunts and is utterly disgusted by the behavior of Jack and his hunters. However, one could argue that Piggy experiences a lapse of civility by participating in Simon's brutal death. Piggy also experiences denial by refusing to acknowledge his participation in Simon's death. Despite this brief moment of change in Piggy's personality, he remains supportive of Ralph and is still a proponent of civilization to the end. Tragically, Piggy dies trying to uphold the standards of civilization when Roger rolls a massive boulder towards him.

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Throughout the novel Piggy is the intelligent, scientific voice of reason.  One of the remarkable things about Piggy is that he actually doesn't change. When he dies at the hands of one of the other boys, he dies the same ineffectual boy who suffers as the punchline of the other boys jokes.  He is larger and smarter than the other boys, but as their society grows more and concerned with brawn than brains he becomes obsolete.  In appearance he seems to be the oldest of the group (thin hair and glasses).  Once his glasses are destroyed, Piggy is literally blind and helpless, despite his constant referrals to "what grownups would do" Roger brutally kills him.

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