What is the effect on Roger in his view of Ralph and Piggy as "a shock of hair and a bag of fat" respectively?William Golding's Lord of the Flies

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As the boys remain on the island, their descent into savagery gains momentum.  The sadistic Roger, whose arm "was conditioned by a civilization that knew nothing of him and was in ruins," no longer throws stones that miss Henry as he has done in Chapter Four of Lord of the Flies.  Now, he can give free reign to his brutal nature.  His characterization of Ralph and Piggy as "a shock of hair and a bag of fat" suggests his total rejection of the leadership of Ralph and the rationality of Piggy and of Piggy's similarity to adults as representatives of society and civilization.

Once he has dehumanized Piggy and Ralph, Roger, who is the most brutal of all the boys, has no qualms about satiating his morbid enjoyment of being cruel:

High overhead, Roger, with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned all his weight on the lever.

Continuing in his sadism, Roger hurls a spear at Ralph below.  When he climbs down from the mountain, Roger "

edged past the chief, only just avoiding pushing him with his shoulder.  The yelling ceased and Samneric lay looking up in quiet terror.  Roger advanced upon them as one wielding a nameless authority.

Roger, of the cruelest nature from the beginning of the novel, now has given full rein to his sadism, indicating the state in which the hunters now are.  The "nameless authority" with which he advances is anarchy. 

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Roger seems to have turned quite heartless during this chapter. He is beginning to see his opposing peers as objects. He no longer values the humanity that lives within them. Thus, at his lookout post from above, he pitches rocks to hit these peers below him. Once, he is successful in killing Piggy. Viewing them as a lock of hair and a bag of fat reduces both boys to only objects that represent them making them even easier for the human mind to contemplate harm or worse, murder. Roger seemed to be in a state of "delusional abandonment" during this chapter which tells us that evil was able to completely overcome him.

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