The Moral Compass of the Island: Piggy’s Role in Lord of the Flie

Last Updated: 17 Jun 2023
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In William Golding's Lord of the Flies the one good soul was found in Piggy. He wasn't violent and he was one of the only boys who tried to keep all of the other children civil by mimicking adults. Although Piggy had physical limitations that some say "prevented" Piggy from joining the other boys in savagery; he never possessed and evil spirit like Jack, Roger, and Ralph. "Shove a palm trunk under that and if an enemy came - look!" Jack noticed these things such as places to build forts, and weapons that can be made. While Piggy's main interests were in building shelters to be protected, and a sundial to know what time it was.

There are may other things that Piggy did to attempt to bring order to the island just like a grown-up. When Jack was busy hunting pigs and dancing about in the blood that engulfed him, Piggy just wanted people to listen to him. He yearned for someone to listen to his ideas without asking questions: when he suggested moving the fire to the beach, he just wanted a ship passing by to see them. Piggy mimicked adults, he did not run about in a savage nature, he was good.

Being the only boy that wasn't violent shows how diverse Piggy was from the other boys on the island. "I got the conch I tell you" Piggy screamed in attempt to gain the boys' lost attention, "I tell you I got the conch." Good finally prevailed and Piggy gained the boys' attention. Never once did Piggy resort to violence, even when his glasses were stolen, he proved he was above violence. Unlike Jack, Piggy never killed. Piggy never hunted or killed a pig, let alone hurt another human being, he used his mind not his size to get attention. Being the biggest boy on the island, he had the upper hand in any fight that would have gone his way. Piggy talked out his conflict; in his opinion violence was not an option. "I just take the conch to say this. I can't see no more and I got to get my glasses back. Awful things have been done on this island. I voted for you (Ralph) for chief. He is the only one who ever got things done. So now you speak, Ralph, and tell us what to do. Or else."

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Piggy realizes that bad and evil things had been happening. He was not just about to stand for it either; he took charge of the situation civilly. Piggy was a thinker, he thought things and situations out and told someone like Ralph what they were. He wasn't good at confrontation; He was too nice. The one time he was driven into being forceful, it wasn't to get people to listen to him, he just wanted his glasses back so he could see. "That's right. Can't catch my breath. I was the only boy in our school who had asthma," Piggy started to explain his situation to Ralph. "And I've been wearing specs since I was three." Whether or not Piggy could run around savagely was irrelevant. The point to be made was that he didn't, he never lusted for blood like Jack, and he never killed like Ralph. He never even killed a pig.

Perhaps if Piggy was skinny and didn't wear glasses or have asthma, the situation would have been different. I do believe Piggy was an essential character showing how irrational the other children on the island were. I believe he was the only good soul on an island full of evil.

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The Moral Compass of the Island: Piggy’s Role in Lord of the Flie. (2023, Jun 17). Retrieved from

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