What Does The Pig's Head Symbolize in "Lord of The Flies"?

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 730 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 730|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Symbolism of the Pig's Head
  2. The Pig's Head as an Allegory
  3. The Pig's Head in the Context of Power
  4. The Pig's Head as a Reflection of Society
  5. Conclusion
  6. Bibliography

William Golding's novel, "Lord of the Flies," explores the darkness that lurks within human nature through the story of a group of boys stranded on a deserted island. Throughout the narrative, the pigs head, also known as the "Lord of the Flies," emerges as a powerful symbol that represents the inherent evil and savagery that exists within humanity. This essay will delve into the various interpretations and implications of the pig's head symbol in the novel, demonstrating its significance in the overall theme of the story.

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Symbolism of the Pig's Head

The pig's head, which is placed on a stick by the boys and decorated with flies, serves as a physical manifestation of the boys' descent into savagery. It is initially perceived as a mere object, but as the story progresses, it takes on a deeper and more ominous meaning. The pig's head becomes a symbol of the boys' inner beast and their gradual loss of civilization.

In the text, the pig's head speaks to Simon, one of the boys, in a hallucination. This encounter reveals the true nature of the beast and foreshadows the tragic events that unfold later in the novel. The head tells Simon, "Fancy thinking the beast was something you could hunt and kill... You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you... I'm the reason why it's no go? Why things are what they are?" (Golding, 143). This conversation highlights the pig's head as a representation of the evil that resides within each individual.

The Pig's Head as an Allegory

The pig's head can also be seen as an allegorical representation of the "beast" that exists within all humans. It symbolizes the darkness, violence, and chaos that can emerge when societal structure and moral codes are abandoned. As the boys on the island become more detached from civilization, the pig's head becomes increasingly prominent, reflecting the growing influence of their inner savage instincts.

Moreover, the pig's head serves as a reminder that evil is not an external force but rather a part of human nature. It suggests that the boys' fear of the beast is, in fact, a reflection of their own fears and insecurities. The pig's head tells Simon, "You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you..." (Golding, 143), emphasizing the inescapable connection between the boys and the darkness within themselves.

The Pig's Head in the Context of Power

The pig's head also symbolizes the corrupting influence of power. As the boys become more engrossed in their quest for dominance and control, the pig's head becomes a source of authority and guidance. It represents the allure of power and the ability to manipulate others. The boys, particularly Jack and his tribe, are drawn to the pig's head as it promises them security and protection.

However, the pig's head also exposes the destructive consequences of unchecked power. The head tells Simon, "You'll meet me down there. You'll meet me down there, with Piggy and Ralph, and all the others" (Golding, 143), implying that the pursuit of power ultimately leads to destruction and death.

The Pig's Head as a Reflection of Society

Furthermore, the pig's head can be interpreted as a commentary on the inherent darkness within society as a whole. It serves as a reflection of the corrupt systems and institutions that exist in the world. Just as the boys' island society descends into chaos and violence, the pig's head represents the potential for evil to prevail when the constraints of civilization are removed.

The pig's head also highlights the ease with which societies can be manipulated and controlled. It symbolizes the vulnerability of individuals to the influence of charismatic leaders who exploit fear and ignorance for their own gain. The boys' fascination with the pig's head demonstrates their susceptibility to manipulation and their willingness to follow those who promise them power and security.


In conclusion, the pig's head, or the "Lord of the Flies," carries significant symbolism throughout William Golding's novel. It serves as a physical representation of the boys' descent into savagery, an allegory for the darkness within humanity, a reflection of the corrupting influence of power, and a commentary on the inherent flaws of society. The pig's head symbolizes the capacity for evil that exists within each individual and the consequences of abandoning moral codes and societal structure. Ultimately, it serves as a chilling reminder of the potential for darkness and chaos that lies within all of us.

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

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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What Does the Pig’s Head Symbolize in “Lord of the Flies”? (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
“What Does the Pig’s Head Symbolize in “Lord of the Flies”?” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
What Does the Pig’s Head Symbolize in “Lord of the Flies”? [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Jul. 2024].
What Does the Pig’s Head Symbolize in “Lord of the Flies”? [Internet] GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 17]. Available from:
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