Comparing Piggy and Ralph in William Golding's "Lord of The Flies"

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About this sample


Words: 658 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 658|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

William Golding's novel "Lord of the Flies" explores the themes of civilization, savagery, and the innate human nature. Throughout the story, two characters, Piggy and Ralph, emerge as contrasting figures with distinct personalities and perspectives. While Piggy represents intellect, reason, and civilization, Ralph embodies leadership, charisma, and the desire for order. This essay will examine the ways in which Piggy and Ralph differ, highlighting their contrasting qualities and the implications of these differences.

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One significant difference between Piggy and Ralph lies in their physical appearances. Piggy is described as overweight, wearing glasses, and having asthma. In contrast, Ralph is portrayed as athletic, with fair hair and a strong physique. Golding uses these physical descriptions to symbolize their contrasting roles in the novel. Piggy's physical weakness aligns with his role as the intellectual and outcast, while Ralph's physical strength represents his leadership and popularity among the boys.

Another way in which Piggy and Ralph differ is in their approaches to problem-solving. Piggy consistently displays a rational and logical mindset, seeking practical solutions to the challenges they face on the island. For instance, when the boys struggle to start a fire, Piggy suggests using his glasses to focus the sunlight, demonstrating his resourcefulness and problem-solving skills. In contrast, Ralph tends to rely on his charisma and persuasive abilities to rally the boys and maintain order. While Piggy focuses on the practical aspects, Ralph emphasizes the importance of unity and cooperation.

Furthermore, Piggy and Ralph have distinct perspectives on the significance of rules and civilization. Piggy strongly believes in the necessity of rules and order to maintain a civilized society. He consistently reminds the boys of the importance of their old lives and the need to uphold certain standards. On the other hand, Ralph initially embraces the freedom and lack of adult supervision on the island. However, as the story progresses and the boys descend into chaos and savagery, Ralph begins to recognize the importance of rules and the need for a structured society.

In addition to their differing perspectives on rules, Piggy and Ralph exhibit different levels of emotional intelligence. Piggy is often the target of ridicule and bullying due to his physical appearance and intellectual nature. Despite this, he remains resilient and maintains a level-headed approach. In contrast, Ralph struggles to control his emotions, especially as the situation on the island deteriorates. He becomes increasingly frustrated and overwhelmed, leading to conflicts with other boys such as Jack. This difference in emotional intelligence highlights Piggy's ability to remain calm and rational amidst chaos.

While Piggy and Ralph differ in various ways, they also share some similarities. Both characters demonstrate a sense of morality and a desire for order. They both recognize the importance of maintaining a civilized society and work towards that goal, albeit in different ways. Additionally, both Piggy and Ralph experience moments of vulnerability and fear, showcasing their humanity and the impact the island's circumstances have on them.

In conclusion, Piggy and Ralph are two key characters in William Golding's "Lord of the Flies" who possess contrasting qualities and perspectives. Piggy represents intellect, reason, and a strong belief in the importance of civilization, while Ralph embodies leadership, charisma, and a growing understanding of the need for rules. Their physical appearances, problem-solving approaches, views on rules, and emotional intelligence all contribute to their differences. However, despite their disparities, Piggy and Ralph share a sense of morality and a desire for order. Through these characters, Golding explores the complex nature of humanity and the impact of different personalities and perspectives in challenging circumstances.

Overall, the contrasting qualities of Piggy and Ralph shed light on the tension between reason and instinct, civilization and savagery, that exists within human nature. Their interactions and character development throughout the novel serve as a reminder of the fragile balance between order and chaos. Further exploration of these characters and their differences could provide valuable insights into the human condition and the complexities of society.

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Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Penguin Books, 1954.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Comparing Piggy and Ralph in William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
“Comparing Piggy and Ralph in William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
Comparing Piggy and Ralph in William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
Comparing Piggy and Ralph in William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 23]. Available from:
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