Piggy in "Lord of The Flies": Symbol of Civilisation

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 638 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Jun 6, 2024

Words: 638|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Jun 6, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph 1
  3. Body Paragraph 2
  4. Body Paragraph 3
  5. Conclusion


William Golding's "Lord of the Flies" is a profound exploration of human nature, societal structures, and the thin veneer of civilization that can so easily be stripped away. One of the central figures in this narrative is Piggy, whose character serves as a poignant symbol of intellectualism, rationality, and the fragile nature of societal norms. Through Piggy, Golding presents a stark contrast to the other boys on the island, particularly in their descent into savagery. Piggy's consistent adherence to logic and order highlights the inherent conflict between the human instinct for civilization and the primal urge for power and dominance. This essay will explore Piggy's role in "Lord of the Flies," examining how his character embodies the virtues of reason and societal order, and how his eventual fate underscores the novel's grim view of human nature.

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Body Paragraph 1

Piggy's physical appearance and demeanor immediately set him apart from the other boys on the island. Described as overweight, asthmatic, and myopic, Piggy is a figure of ridicule and marginalization. However, beneath this seemingly unimpressive exterior lies a mind of considerable intellect and foresight. Piggy's knowledge of practical matters, such as the use of the conch shell to call meetings and the importance of maintaining a signal fire, demonstrates his capacity for logical thinking and his commitment to order. Unlike the other boys, who are quickly swayed by the allure of freedom and the absence of adult supervision, Piggy consistently advocates for rules and structure. His glasses, a symbol of clarity and insight, are crucial for starting the fire, further emphasizing his role as the bearer of knowledge and civilization.

Body Paragraph 2

Despite his intellectual contributions, Piggy is frequently undermined and ignored by the other boys, particularly by characters like Jack, who represent the antithesis of Piggy's values. Jack's growing obsession with hunting and his disdain for Piggy's suggestions highlight the tension between savagery and civilization. Piggy's reliance on the conch shell as a symbol of democratic order is systematically eroded as Jack's influence grows, culminating in the eventual shattering of the conch and Piggy's tragic demise. This progression mirrors the disintegration of civilized norms on the island, as the boys abandon rational discourse in favor of primal violence. Piggy's death, caused by Roger's deliberate act of cruelty, signifies the complete breakdown of order and the triumph of anarchy and brutality over reason and compassion.

Body Paragraph 3

Moreover, Piggy's relationship with Ralph serves as a microcosm of the broader struggle between civilization and chaos. Ralph, who initially relies on Piggy's intellectual guidance, gradually becomes more susceptible to the primal instincts that Jack embodies. Despite this, Piggy remains steadfast in his belief in the power of order and rationality. His unwavering support for Ralph's leadership and his persistent attempts to be heard, even in the face of mockery and physical threats, underscore his commitment to the ideals of civilization. Piggy's ultimate fate, falling victim to the very savagery he sought to prevent, reinforces Golding's pessimistic view of human nature. The novel suggests that intellectualism and reason are vulnerable and often powerless against the darker, more destructive aspects of humanity.

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In "Lord of the Flies," Piggy stands as a poignant symbol of civilization, rationality, and the inherent fragility of societal norms. Through his character, Golding illustrates the tension between the human instincts for order and savagery, highlighting the ease with which civilization can be dismantled in the absence of collective adherence to its principles. Piggy's intellectual contributions and his tragic end serve as a stark reminder of the vulnerability of reason and the often-overwhelming power of primal instincts. Ultimately, Piggy's fate underscores the novel's central theme: the fragile nature of civilization and the ever-present potential for its collapse in the face of humanity's darker impulses. His character is a testament to the delicate balance between order and chaos, reason and savagery, that defines the human condition.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Piggy in “Lord of the Flies”: Symbol of Civilisation. (2024, Jun 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from
“Piggy in “Lord of the Flies”: Symbol of Civilisation.” GradesFixer, 05 Jun. 2024,
Piggy in “Lord of the Flies”: Symbol of Civilisation. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 12 Jun. 2024].
Piggy in “Lord of the Flies”: Symbol of Civilisation [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 05 [cited 2024 Jun 12]. Available from:
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