What does Piggy's death symbolize?

In Lord of the Flies, Piggy's death symbolizes the death of reason. Up until his tragic demise, there was still a chance, however faint, that the boys on the island would turn aside from bloodshed and warfare and start to build a civilization. But with Piggy gone, the boys' ultimate descent into a state of outright barbarism begins in earnest.

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Piggy is very much the voice of reason. A highly intelligent boy full of common sense and good ideas, he shows the best way forward for the boys to survive and thrive on the island. Unfortunately, hardly anyone listens to Piggy. To most of the other boys, he's just a...

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Piggy is very much the voice of reason. A highly intelligent boy full of common sense and good ideas, he shows the best way forward for the boys to survive and thrive on the island. Unfortunately, hardly anyone listens to Piggy. To most of the other boys, he's just a figure of fun, an overweight, short-sighted outcast who deserves to be treated with contempt.

But as long as Piggy's around, he can't be completely ignored. He will always act as a reminder that there is a much better way of doing things. And most of the boys don't want to be reminded of that. They just want to have fun and do as they please: to hunt pigs and generally treat the island like a gigantic playground, an opportunity for adventure. To them, Piggy is not just a source of irritation and contempt; he is a spoilsport, putting a dampener on their enjoyment.

When the psychotic Roger kills Piggy, there is a tragic sense of inevitability about it. The reason that Piggy represents simply cannot be expected to survive for very long in the midst of such utter savagery. When Piggy was alive, there was always a chance—albeit somewhat remote, it should be pointed out—that reason could eventually prevail over the forces of barbarism. But once Piggy is killed by Roger, all such hopes are completely lost, and the final descent into total barbarism begins with a vengeance.

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