Lord of the Flies9

In William Goldings novel The Lord of the Flies, Piggy’s helplessness and superior intellect lead to his tragic death.

Piggy is an outsider. He manages, for a time, to have some influence on the group through Ralph, who recognizes his brilliance and puts into effect several of his suggestions. But, the boys are quick to ridicule him for his fatness, asthma, and lack of physical skill. As an orphan brought up under the care of an aunt, he has developed into a sissy. He cannot do anything for himself, whether it be to gather fruit, blow the conch shell, or build huts. He always tries to hide when the other boys are involved in manual labor. Further, he makes the mistake of pressing too hard for acceptance. At first he tries so hard to win the favor of Ralph that he only alienates Ralph, yet at the same time he gives him personal information about himself that Ralph can then use to hurt him. His life on the island is a series of unhappy embarrassments, including being taunted by the boys, being beaten, and having his glasses broken and stolen. And finally, at the instigation of Jack, he is killed by Roger.

Piggy represents a state of mind that is conservative and civilized. His glasses, which are constantly steamed, and that he absolutely needs to see anything, separate him from the world of activity and adventure in which he cannot participate as freely as the other boys, and confine him to the realm of his own mind. Piggy is the intelligent member of the group; he tends to be more scientific than the rest, and also more skeptical. His skepticism keeps him from participating in the superstitions of the other boys. He knows that the civilized world would not accept the legend of the “beastie”.

Ironically, with his build, his nickname “Piggy” (Golding 11), and his squealing, he resembles the sacrificial pig. When he dies, his “arms and legs twitched a bit, like a pig\'s after it has been killed” (Golding 165). His superior intellect is of little use to him in the longer the boys are on the island. In the increasingly more immoral society of the boys, the intellectual is lowered to the status of the beast. Then, as the pig, he is sacrificed and symbolically eaten.