In "Lord of the Flies", what does Piggy think the others are trying to steal when the boys are attacked in the hut?
Why is this ironic?
Note that Percival is inarticulate. What does this fact demonstrate about the boys experience on the island?
Piggy thinks the others are trying to steal the conch, but the conch is still in the hut. It is ironic that while Piggy still thinks the conch is important, in reality, it no longer matters. What matters now is fire, and the others, sensing this, have come to steal Piggy's glasses, the instrument that will allow them to create a flame. Fire is symbolic of destruction, and the demonic bestiality into which the boys have descended.
Percival's inarticulateness reflects the fact that talk has become insignificant. The conch was the symbol of civilization, order, and communication in an atmosphere of mutual respect, but the boys have abandoned any semblance of functional social organization and interaction. The boys' behavior is now dominated by their baser human instincts; the ferocity of fire has overcome reason as represented by the conch (Chapter 10).
Piggy is afraid of the conch shell being stolen. The conch shell he helps to protect is a symbol of civilization. The conch shell loses its power as the boys become more savage and lose order and unity.