What is Jack and Piggy's relationship like in William Golding's Lord of the Flies?

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In William Golding's novel about a group of young boys stranded on an island and forced to survive while confronting the divisions that emerge between them, Lord of the Flies, Jack and Piggy represent vastly different ends of the humanitarian spectrum.  Piggy is something of a sad figure insofar as he is neither physically nor emotionally suited to the hardships that the boys must endure.  While smart and helpful, he is highly dependent upon the kindness of Ralph -- a situation highlighted by Piggy's need for the eyeglasses that will constitute his most serious "Achilles heel."  Jack, in contrast to Ralph and Piggy, represents the more hostile, confrontational and dictatorial side of the spectrum.  An early indication that he will be a problem as Ralph attempts to organize the boys into a coherent unit with basic rules occurs during the newly-stranded youngsters' first such meeting.  Piggy, helping Ralph to organize the meeting, is abruptly cut-off by Jack:

“You’re talking too much,” said Jack Merridew. “Shut up, Fatty.”

As Golding's novel progresses, the divisions separating the group led by Ralph, which invariably includes Piggy, and the one led by Jack, with its more violent and confrontational tendencies, provides one of the Lord of the Flies' central conflicts.

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Lord of the Flies

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