The character Piggy in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies helps to develop foundations of truth and understanding in the story. Throughout the story, Piggy is associated with intellect, logic, and often an adult voice on a child’s island.

Piggy offers direct and to the point advice as to how to go about doing daily chores and running the government of the island. Piggy functions not only as a character in the novel but also as an important element to develop symbolism and theme. Piggy and his glasses play a key role on the island. In the story his glasses are used to start the fire which sustains the hopes of being rescued.When Jack and his group of hunters steal Piggy’s glasses, the hopes of being rescued are also stolen, but more importantly the belief that Ralph holds onto of remaining the leader. As Jack and his hunters retreat into the jungle, Golding notes “He was a chief now in truth; and he made stabbing motions with his spear.

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From his left hand dangled Piggy’s broken glasses” (168). With the theft of the glasses, Jack’s ascension to the throne is complete; Piggy’s view of the island is utterly distorted because without his glasses, he is unable to see the island for what it really is.All throughout the story, Piggy cleans his glasses when things become to complex for him to comprehend. When he and Ralph are discussing the state of the island after Jack and the hunters leave, Piggy admits confusion and “rubbed his glasses slowly and [begins to think].

When he understood how far Ralph had gone toward accepting him he flushed pinkly with pride” (140). Piggy is a symbol of the main source of intellect and reason on the island, often giving an adult opinion to issues at hand. He comes up with countless ideas as to how to improve life on the island and the way to go about doing that.After the fire started by the hunters consumes most of the jungle, Piggy emphasizes that “The first thing we ought to have made was shelters down there by the beach” (45). In the beginning of the book, as Ralph finds the conch, it is Piggy that instructs Ralph in how to blow on the conch and make the sound that makes Ralph the “man with the megaphone” (7).

More importantly is the role that Piggy plays as an adult voice on the island, a voice that the boys grow to resent. “‘Grownups know things,’ said Piggy. ‘They ain’t afraid of the dark.

They’d meet and have tea and discuss. Then things ‘ud be all right” (94). It is this adult view of life and how he asserts his opinion that shapes the way Ralph ultimately begins to think and govern, and in a certain light, why he fails.

Piggy believes that rules should be strictly followed, and this totalitarian view is shown when he tries to stress the power of the conch when speaking before Jack on Castle Rock. It is this effort to remain true to the ideals that the island was founded on, his ideals that were formed from intelligence and reason, that get him killed.Piggy represents an important theme of the book: the escalation of violence on the island. The attempted killing of the first pig is step one in the escalation of violence. After the failure, the boys discuss why the pig was not killed and the author comments that “next time there would be no mercy” (31).

The second step is the killing of the pig that would become the Lord of the Flies. This arrogant killing shows the pride the boys take in killing the pig, which is almost a form of sexual fulfillment, and the joy that they take from it.This pig was killed out of necessity, the necessity being that the boys needed the meat to live. The third step in the killing is accidental.

The killing of Simon shows that the boys do have the capacity to kill a fellow human but not yet the will to do so. The forth and final step in the escalation of violence is the murder of Piggy. In Roger’s anger toward the dissention that Ralph and Piggy were causing among the boys in Jack’s tribe, Roger releases the rock with a “sense of delirious abandonment” (180), which releases any fraction of civilization and restraint, killing Piggy.

It is this delirious act of violence that allows the boys to abandon any hint of civilization and gather the daring to plot to kill Ralph. Piggy is more of a major character than he might first appear. His actions and thoughts affect the way that Ralph governs the island. He affects not only the way the boys behave and go about with daily life on the island but the way that things are perceived.

Piggy is much more than a character; he is an essential theme and a symbol that few recognize.