Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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What are some of Piggy's character traits, and what are some quotes that demostrate them?

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Piggy is highly rational and intelligent (in chapter 5, Ralph reflects, "Piggy could think"), and he is a proponent of establishing a civil society on the island. He loves to follow rules, and he repeatedly does things because "Auntie told me" to do them. In chapter 2 he says, "I bet it's tea-time," reminding himself of society's order. Physically, his traits are much like that of an older person: he is fat, he is nearsighted, his hair is thinning, and he has medical conditions (namely asthma).

 


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ebolstad eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Here's a simple tip: note that the novel concludes with Ralph mourning the loss of his "wise, true friend" Piggy.

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As an allegory, "Lord of the Flies" has characters themselves represent traits. Thus, these characters are not the typical developed characters of most fiction.  Piggy represents the adult type on the island. His physical traits are much like that of an older person:  He is fat, he is nearsighted, his hair is thinning, he has medical conditions.  Interestingly, in Chapter One, Piggy expresses concern that there are no other adults, and he is worried that "Nobody don't know we're here...."

Aren't there any grownups at all?....An expression of pain and inward concentration altered the pale contures of his face.

Piggy represents the rational side of man in "The Lord of the Flies."  (In Chapter 5, Ralph reflects, "Piggy could think.") He has learned to follow the rules and is reluctant to abandon the order and trappings of society as he knows that these are what hold society together: "Auntie told me" is what he often repeats in the first chapter.  In Chapter 2 he says, "I bet it's tea-time," reminding himself of society's order.

It is Piggy who finds the conch and suggests using it to call the boys to meetings.  With his scientific approach to problems, Piggy is the voice of reason as he knows that building the shelters is of paramount importance to the boys survival (Ch.2).  His glasses serve to start the fire that eventually signals to the ship that rescues the boys:  "'We used his specs,' said Simon....'He helped that way.'" When Jack argues with him, Piggy tries to reason:  "How can you expect to be rescued if you don't put first things first and act proper?" But, Piggy is ineffective without Ralph's leadership.  As Ralph angrily asks Piggy why he did not get a list of names one day, Piggy cries indignantly, "How...

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