“The Lord of the Flies” is a novel which William Golding created to explain the true nature of the human mind, primitivity, and ethics. William Golding utilizes many characters to show differences between individual mindsets and ethics. One of these characters is Piggy, who is unique in the story because he is the outcast on the island because of his weight and weakness, although he is superior intellectually. Piggy is important to the novel because he represents life before the island and he is the voice of reason.
Although Piggy is the most intelligent on the island, he has no leadership abilities and he is not respected by the other boys on the island. The other boys made prejudgments on Piggy based on his appearance, and the reader is supposed to as well. Piggy is initially characterized as “the fat boy” before the reader is even aware of his name, while Ralph is described as “the fair boy.” Although Piggy is initially described unfortunately, he is quickly shown to have high intelligence because of his knowledge of how to use a conch, even though he is unable to use it himself. This is the first time in the novel where Piggy’s role is shown; Piggy is Ralph’s advisor and sidekick.
Piggy is not only the voice of reason for Ralph, but he tries to keep the island civil with rules and memories of the adults. Piggy often quotes his aunt and brings up adults and asks “”What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages? What’s grownups going to think? Going off – hunting pigs – letting fires out – and now!” Piggy only wants to do things he thinks adults would approve of, because he knows that is the best way to handle the situation. Piggy is the only boy on the island that views the circumstances in an adult’s perspective and he never forgets the world the boys came from.
Piggy is also the voice of reason when it comes to the beast. Many characters in the novel fear the beast or at least are skeptical of it, whereas Piggy is certain there is no beast. Piggy states “I know there isn’t no beast—not with claws and all that I mean—but I know there isn’t no fear either.” Piggy says there is nothing to fear on the island, unless they start to fear each other. Piggy believes logical adults wouldn’t fear a beast on the island, so he doesn’t either. Piggy often quotes his aunt and talks about how adults would handle the situation because he knows that is the best way to handle things. Even when Piggy is killed, he dies proclaiming that it is better to be civilized and thoughtful than hunting savages. Piggy dies believing what he did from the beginning, and this shows Piggy’s true morals and intellect.
Piggy is also an important character because he is used in contrast to the other characters in the novel. All the other characters follow each other and resort to being savage and forgetting the lives they had before, but Piggy keeps in mind where they came from and follows rules.
In conclusion, Piggy’s role in the novel is crucial because he is the voice of reason and the one attempting to keep the island civil. Piggy looks at the island from an adult’s perspective, and offers intelligent ideas to the other boys on the island. Piggy’s presence is vital to the novel’s theme and meaning.