Piggy's character represents civility, scientific thought, and rationality. Piggy is one of the few boys who champions civilization and order over hunting and savagery. Despite his annoying personality and physical limitations, Piggy is by far the most intelligent boy on the island and understands the importance of maintaining the signal fire for rescue. He encourages the boys to pragmatically solve their problems, challenges Jack's style of leadership, and reveres the conch. Piggy's vulnerability and knowledge influence him to embrace civilization and support Ralph.
In chapter 11, Piggy, Ralph, and Samneric travel to Jack's stronghold, Castle Rock, to retrieve Piggy's glasses. Shortly after Ralph fights Jack, Piggy holds the conch and addresses the group of savages. Piggy hopes to inspire Jack and the savage hunters to accept civilization, exercise rationality, and abandon their barbaric way of life. Piggy demonstrates his affinity for civilization and rational thought by posing the question, "Which is better—to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?" Suddenly, Roger, the sadist, rolls a massive boulder down the cliff, striking Piggy and killing him instantly.
Piggy's death symbolically represents the end of order and rational thought on the island. The conch also explodes into thousands of tiny pieces and symbolizes the demise of civilization. Piggy's death also underscores Golding's theme regarding the struggle between civility and savagery. Chaos reigns supreme following Piggy's death, and Ralph is the only rational boy alive.