In one word, what do Piggy's glasses symbolize in the novel Lord of the Flies?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Reason"

Piggy's glasses symbolize reason throughout the novel Lord of the Flies. Piggy is the novel's most intelligent character who is constantly rubbing his glasses. Piggy's character represents the rational world, and he makes valuable insights throughout the novel. The boys apply reason to start a fire by using Piggy's glasses. Glasses give Piggy the ability to see, and sight is often a metaphor for knowledge. Piggy applies his knowledge by suggesting they make a sundial and approaches the existence of the "beast" pragmatically. Piggy never "loses sight" of the importance of maintaining the signal fire and following Ralph as their rightful leader. Piggy states that "life is scientific" and is one of the few characters that fully understands the gravity of the situation. In Chapter 4, Jack smacks Piggy's glasses off his head, breaking one of the lenses. This moment symbolizes the first stage associated with the loss of reason amongst the boys. Later on, when Piggy's glasses are stolen, he literally becomes "blind," which figuratively symbolizes the mindset of the remaining boys on the island. The loss of Piggy's "specs" correlates with the loss of reason on the island. The boys completely lose sight of morality and descend further into barbarism following the destruction of Piggy's glasses.

 

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Lord of the Flies

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