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

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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What are signs of Piggy's potential for evil in Lord of the Flies by William Golding?

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Although Piggy is definitely not even close to being the darkest character on the island, Golding's characterization of him does portray Piggy as having character flaws, particularly his judgmental and superior attitude toward the other boys. 

Piggy is judgmental -- When Ralph asks if Simon left camp to climb the mountain to look closer at the beast, Piggy critically responds, "He might be." He gulped his mouthful.  "He's cracked" (132).  Although Piggy is not perfect, he is still very hard on the other boys when given an opening.  Perhaps Piggy feels that if he mocks the other boys, like Simon, he will draw attention away from his own shortcomings.  If the others are laughing at Simon, they will be too busy to laugh at Piggy.  Even though Piggy frequently shows kindness to the littluns, he has the potential, as the other boys do, to be cruel or callous of others' issues, like Simon and his illness.

Piggy has a superior, elitist attitude-- He frequently comes off to the other boys as having a superior attitude, like he is so much smarter than they are.  Piggy probably is smarter, but occasionally he looks down on the other characters because of his intelligence. He does not see the other boys as intellectual equals.  When the boys first land on the island, Piggy comments derisively, "Like kids! Acting like a crowd of kids!" (38)  Later when Jack and the other boys split from the tribe, Piggy declared that the remaining boys will "do all right on our own..."It's them that haven't no common sense that make trouble on this island"(132).  Piggy is condescending to the other boys and often seems to believe that his opinion is the only one that really matters. 

Piggy is judgmental and elitist throughout the book.  These character traits may not seem particularly evil residing in Piggy, but other people being judgmental and elitist have certainly had extremely negative, even evil, repercussions in the recent past.  Because of Piggy's death in the novel, the reader never really gets to see him to his potential, for better or worse.

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