What is the significance of Piggy's plea to join the expedition  in Lord of the Flies?

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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In the first chapter, when Ralph, the newly appointed chief says they need to see if they are indeed, on an island, and therefore they need to explore, Piggy says he wants to go with Ralph, Jack, and Simon.  Ralph tells Piggy that he's no good on a job like this; Jack just says, "We don't want you." The significance is that Piggy is the voice of reason and intellect - a voice needed among the boys.  Piggy does not get any respect from Jack and even Ralph is slow to show him much, but Piggy wants and deserves respect.  Piggy even tries another tactic by telling Ralph that he was hurt that Ralph told the boys his nickname was "Piggy".  Ralph makes Piggy feel a little better by telling him it could be worse, and that it was Piggy's job to get the names of all the other boys.  This shows that Ralph has empathy for Piggy, the sign of the civility which the reader sees in Ralph throughout the story. 

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