Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

Start Free Trial

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Piggy is the novel's most civilized character and is Ralph's biggest supporter throughout the story. Although Piggy is regarded as physically inferior by the other boys, he is by far the most intelligent boy on the island. He is the first to identify the conch and fiercely defends its power when Jack begins to disregard the rules during the assemblies. The conch is a symbol of civility throughout the novel that Piggy protects and honors. Piggy also continually reminds Ralph about the importance of maintaining a signal fire. Similar to the conch, the signal fire is also a symbol of civilization, hope, and rescue. Piggy is in favor of a democratic, egalitarian society where even the littluns have a say during the assemblies. He believes that the boys should work together to accomplish various tasks and continually chastises those who act like "savages." Piggy understands that without rules, regulations, and structure he will not survive because he is not as physically strong as the others. Creating and maintaining a structured society where people respect each other and act civilly is Piggy's only hope to remain alive on the island. Unfortunately, Piggy is killed by a massive boulder that Roger hurls at him. Piggy's death and the broken conch both symbolize the utter destruction of civility on the island.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

How is Piggy clever and persuasive throughout Lord of the Flies?

Ralph does not always respect Piggy's intelligence or his loyalty to him, but Piggy always serves as a symbol of rational thinking and scientific knowledge. It is Piggy who recognizes the value and power of the conch as a symbol of unity and order. Piggy's glasses serves as the source for fire--both to cook the food and keep the all-important signal fire going. Only Piggy is able to see the obvious solution to the signal fire's close proximity to the beast; he simply suggests that they move the new fire to the beach, far from the fearful beast. Piggy recognizes the need for immediate shelter from the elements. He tries to persuade the boys to think and act like the grown-ups, and that there are no ghosts or supernatural beasts. He suggests using sticks to create a sundial so they can determine the time of the day. He points out to Ralph that Jack's hatred for the leader is deep and never-ending.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Last Updated on