In Lord of the Flies what are some powerful quotes from Piggy from throughout the novel?

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gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Throughout the novel, Piggy is a proponent of civilization and humanity. He is continually in conflict with Jack and loyally follows Ralph. Towards the end of Chapter 5, Jack openly opposes Ralph and leaves the camp to hunt. Ralph feels powerless, and the boys begin to wish there were adults present on the island. Piggy displays his faith in adults by saying,

"Grown-ups know things...They ain’t afraid of the dark. They’d meet and have tea and discuss. Then things ’ud be all right—" (Golding 133).

In Chapter 11, Piggy makes several important points. Immediately after Jack steals the fire from Ralph's group, Ralph blows the conch and calls a meeting. Piggy then takes the conch and says,

"I just take the conch to say this. I can’t see no more and I got to get my glasses back. Awful things has been done on this island. I voted for you for chief. He’s the only one who ever got anything done. So now you speak, Ralph, and tell us what. Or else—" (Golding 244).

Piggy has always been Ralph's biggest supporter and realizes the barbaric nature of Jack. In this moment of crisis, Piggy feels that it is necessary to reiterate Ralph's importance as the "only one who ever got anything done." Ralph then leads the boys to Castle Rock where Piggy takes the conch and gives his last speech. Piggy holds the conch and asks the important question,

"Which is better—to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is?" (Golding 259).

Fittingly, Piggy's last words are an appeal for humanity and civilization.

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mrs-campbell's profile pic

mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In one of the group's many "assemblies" Ralph is referring to how things are getting out of control, and how the littluns are letting their fear of the unknowns in the forest get the better of them.  Piggy states that there is no beast and "I know there isn't no fear either...unless we get frightened of people."  This turns out to be a prophetic statement, as in the end, the boys end up hunting each other, and their fear of being killed by each other is a tangible reality.

Later, Piggy states very incisively of Jack that "I know about people.  I know about me.  And him.  He can't hurt you:  but if you stand out of the way he'd hurt the next thing.  And that's me."  This also is very insightful of Piggy, and foreshadows his future demise.  He has a sense for people, and can sense Jack's wildness.

Then, right before his death, he asks pertinent questions:  "Which is better-to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?...Which is better, law and rescue or hunting and breaking things up?"  He gets to the crux of the matter, the conflict that has been tearing the boys apart from the beginning.  Do we establish civility, laws and order, or do we turn everything over to chaos?  Unfortunately, these are his last words, his final rhetorical mark on the boys.

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