Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

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What do Piggy's glasses symbolize in Lord of the Flies?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Piggy's glasses connect with multiple meanings within the text of Lord of the Flies. As the only character with glasses in the novel, Piggy and his personality traits, like his intellect and preference of order and rule following, carry over to how readers also view his glasses and their connotations in the novel.  Primarily, the glasses suggest intellect and reason.  They become a tool among the boys to start a signal fire to reconnect with civilization.  When Jack loses his temper and shoves Piggy, thus breaking one of the lenses out of the frames, this scene suggests the fragility of the appearance of ordered society. Jack's violent response and the breaking of the glasses becomes a metaphor for the breaking up of any pretense of civilization on the island.

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Piggy's glasses symbolize the struggle of the law and intelligence vs the chaos, lawlessness and anarchy.  The glasses represent status and level in a social structure.  After the glasses were broken the breakdown of the society the boys had created continued to break down even further.  Piggy's status in the group continued to get lower and lower until it ended with his death. 

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nazneen-knu | Student

Piggiy’s glass is a remarkable symbol in The Lord of the Flies. Firstly it can be said a source of power. It has various influencial power upon lives of the boys in the island.

    Utilizing Piggy’s glass the boys first get fire and light in the island. So the glass here can be said the sourse of light and fire. The light to enlighten and bring courage in life. If we think the island with the boys as the beginning of human civilization then Piggiy’s glass is the symbol of bringing light to human civilization. It launches life in the island because without light fire life is dark. The glass makes the jungle-land a human-land.

    The life beginning from the fire of the glass makes the island full of sound and fury. It asumes an earthly look that is it becomes miny world. Thus the glass has power of enlightenment and putting forth life. Getting fire they become human-like and start to think about countinuing their life in the island. They get courage and a sense of security.

     The glass is symbol of knowledge and power. The glass is a modern tool of life. It is so powerful that it has made a place havitable. It contains the knowladge of leadong the life. After making the fire they become able to eat surrounding which they they fight and quarrel. A conflict for hving power begins. Two powers arise. Jack try to have whole power and all the boys to be his follower.  It leads them to be killers.  Thus the glass brings conflict in the island.

      The glass symbolises the powerful modern tools. The modern are invented for utilisimg for the benefit of mankind. But they are used for destroying mankind, destroying the world. The destruction of the glass means that the civilizing power is driven away by the evil power. And now the evil power will rule.

            The person wearing the glass is shwon different. Piggy is loyal and passive. He is always in support of the democratic and wellfare thoughts. He is support of knowledge and power. But he is not enough powerful to preaerve the power and utilize it. That is things are invented for betterment but are captured and abused by evil power and destruction comes in the world.. Thus the glass can be said the sourse of creation and destruction.