In Lord of The Flies, how was Piggy mistreated by Jack and Ralph?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Lord of The Flies, it is Ralph and Piggy that the reader meet first. It is clear from the beginning that Ralph has a natural presence about him and that Piggy, the "fat" boy who has been "wearing specs since I was three," is a lot less agile and obviously teased about his size to the point that, at school, he was called "Piggy."  Ralph upsets Piggy when he laughs about his name and then later goes on to tell everyone else about the nickname, despite Piggy asking him not to. Although they become friends and support each other, Ralph being an ineffectual leader without Piggy, and Piggy's intellect going to waste without Ralph, Ralph still gets irritated with Piggy and sometimes a little cruel; "Better Piggy than Fatty." 

The conch has a huge effect on the boys but Jack still resists its power if he can. He has no respect for Piggy because he is the closest thing to a "grown-up" on the island, whose authority Jack resists. Jack will go to extremes with Piggy, enjoying Piggy's recognizable fear of him. Even when Piggy has the conch Jack still tells him to "shut up."

When the boys use Piggy's glasses to start the fire, they snatch his glasses from him, leaving him powerless. Ralph is consumed by the need to start the fire so dismisses Piggy, although he does return the glasses to him after the fire starts. Because  Jack hits Piggy the second time he grabs the glasses, he breaks them, leaving Piggy with only one lens but shows no remorse. Ultimately, he will steal his glasses and leave Piggy unable to see at all, foreshadowing what will follow shortly as Piggy falls to his death. 

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Lord of the Flies

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