How does Golding present Piggy and Simon in the novel? Throughout the thought provoking and allegorical novel of ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding there are certain elements of Golding’s ideology that are represented through objects, the weather and most importantly the characters in the novel. During the time in which the novel was written, the war had Just been won by the United Kingdom. Golding was disgusted by a lot of the things that went on during the war particularly the horrendous misanthropic Nazi regime and the apathy that the Nazi’s maintained around killing Innocent human beings.
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As a consequence of this, Golding uses some of these horrific happenings to portray a message or even an extremely strong moral point through the setting and characters in particular. Golding specifically uses the interesting and diverse characters of Piggy and Simon to portray moral and ethical Issues that concerned him at the time of when he wrote his novel. Not only this, but certain elements of Piggy and Simon’s personality and even exterior aesthetics are used to convey a message possibly about the government, democracy and society in general.
When reading the novel, Jack and Ralph are first perceived as the main characters. It first seems, that Golding is really trying to make a point about these two boys’ behaviour he puts across the Idea that these characters both dichotomous in terms of their Interaction skills and general social demeanour are not morally upstanding. Although as the reader continues to read on we see that there Is an undertone of importance through both Piggy and Simon’s characters, we see that these two characters are equally significant to Jack and Ralph in terms of their role on the island, if not more so .
Golding uses the characters of Simon and Piggy in very divergent ways throughout the novel. While both characters play fundamental and vital roles throughout, these roles are dissimilar In terms of how they may try and deal with situations. To put It simply, I think Piggy and Simon are the characters that Golding uses to showhow people could act in society, the opinions and actions of these two characters throughout the novel consistently portray a moral message, though by now finishing the novel there are more convoluted and symbolic ideas behind Piggy and Simon’s characters additionally.
Page 2 Golding protray piggy Essay
Simon Is first Introduced when the choir arrive, heautomatically faints; he’s always hrowing a falnt this creates a sense of Interest around him. As Simon Is the one to faint it singles him out, instantly making him out to be different to the other boys. This creates an element of foreshadowing because as the novel progresses we see that Simon is in fact very different to the other boys on the island. The very fact that Simon is consistently vomiting and fainting perhaps suggests that he is somewhat more Insubstantial or weaker than the other boys.
Golding may not have wanted to snow tnat Slmon was pnyslcally weaker or even mentally weaker out snow tnat tne ack of bravado that Simon embodies perhaps shows that Simon isn’t afraid to show his emotions or feelings unlike the other boys who hide behind the new found primal and primitive behaviour which they have created to supposedly help them survive on the island. In addition, The way Golding shows the more morally righteous to be slightly weaker for example Piggy has ‘assmar’ and Simon is constantly fainting perhaps suggests that even the most intelligent and honourable of people can still have flaws.
Simon is also intensely connected with nature and the environment around him, he ppears to connect to the island in a spiritual manner, appreciating the wonderful birds and animals that inhabit the island and quintessentially the beauty that the island beholds. This is extremely evident at the end of chapter three when chaos and devastation begin to take place and to escape and find a place of serenity and peace Simon finds a small sanctuary on the island full of beautiful butterflies and small candle buds, he revels in the pure magnificence of his surroundings ‘ the candle buds opened, their wide white flowers glimmering… ook possession of the island’. Simon’s adoration and respect for the island is an extreme antithesis to Jacks blood thirsty nature and disregard for the island. Golding may have done this to put across the idea of two very different extremities of behaviour, one of morally righteousness and innate ethical ways and the other of primitive and anarchic actions that go against some form of democracy in general. Possibly volunteering the idea that there needs to be a certain amount of each in society or to find a happy medium within oneself, that incorporates the idea of moral embodiment and also a sense of free will nd independence.
I don’t think Golding wanted to show that any one of the boys portray the right way to act or hold yourself in society but to show that different elements of the boys personalities and upbringings are there as guidance and how you can take particular traits from each boy and adopt them for use in certain situations and society in general. In addition, Simon creates a large amount of the structure in the novel, throughout the book we see the build up of ritual dances, arguments and deaths but also the calm and bounteous description of the island.
After having read the book in more etail I noticed that whenever Simon’s name is mentioned, the imagery and setting of the story begins to change. It quickly changes from harsh and horrible weather to exquisite and image laden descriptions of the island. This is extremely apparent at the beginning of chapter six on page 97. Simon is always the one who is enjoying the island and this is portrayed in a serene and exotic way whereas Jack is always acting in savage and primal ways meaning Jack is associated with violence and primordial behaviour.
Simon’s slow, beautiful and tranquil parts in the novel create a large aradox between the savage, fast and primitive excerpts that happen elsewhere in the book. As the initial group of democracy, order and agreement begins to disperse, different groups begin to form I’ll spilt up the choir-my hunters that is- into groups’, Ralph, Piggy ana samnerlc plus a Tew ‘llttleuns’ Torm a group ana Jack creates a group 0T savage hunters. Simon strays away from taking sides and keeps himself to himself, still in awe of his marvellous surroundings.
As you read through the book it seems that both Ralph and Piggy act in a civilised manner with decorum but when Jack laughters the pig and him and his hunters create a ritual killing and hunt-dance even Piggy and Ralph take part. It seems that Piggy and Ralph are also undergoing the process of social conditioning whereas Simon is consistently morally upstanding. This shows that unlike all the other boys who take great pleasure in taking advantage of their new found freedom that Simon acts morally and ethically as he believes in the intrinsic and integral value of morality and basic principles.
Simon is coherently acting in an admiral and respectable manner, he talks with understanding and maturity, he more importantly treats everyone equally. It is Simon who insists on going up the mountain “I think we ought to climb the mountain” to see the beast for what it is but his insistence and profound reasoning is once again, ignored. Simon is determined and climbs up the mountain to discover the truth about the ‘beast’ not only does he show perseverance and tenacity but he shows dedication and courage.
Courage being an element of Simon’s personality that is very rarely seen throughout the story. This is integral to the novel because Simon can prove to the boys that they shouldn’t be scared because there is actually nothing o be scared of, the fear that boys have about the ‘beast’ is a fgment of their imagination and an unnecessary concern. Simon realises that the problem the ‘beast’ poses is not a literal, physical beast but an element of evil and savagery that exists in most human beings.
When he understands the nature of the beast and the significance of the needless worry that it is harmless and horrible’, Simon’s innate care and understanding for the other boys on the island, makes him want to reassure the others that their childish and infantile fears and worries are gratuitous and they eed to realise this if they are to live peacefully without trepidation on the island. In spite of this, as Simon tries to inform the boys of his recent discovery, he is brutally murdered and Simon dies being the only boy to know the truth.
There is a slight element of irony here as Simon was killed knowing the truth about the non-existent beast and he is killed because the boys think he is the beast. On the island, I think Simon is almost seen as a prophet or saint and sometimes even a Christ figure. Even the way Simon looks portrays an aura of innocence and naivety. Simon asks questions about life on the island, his surroundings and life in general What the dirtiest thing there is? ‘. I think that when Simon stumbles upon ‘The Lord of the Flies’ it may symbolise good meeting evil, good and evil being a very dominant theme throughout the novel.
As ‘Lord of the Flies’ translates directly (in Pagan civilisations) to ‘Beelzebub’ another name for the Devil, it shows that the idea of the Devil or evil in general is in the form of a Sow’s head and has come to give a warning and message to the boys, the ‘Lord of the Flies’ comes into opposition with Simon; the pitome of innocence and decency. This Juxtaposition between Good and Evil is extremely apparent at this point in the novel but is also extremely important throughout the story and is there as a strong warning.
I also think that when Simon moats out to sea tne aescrlptlon 0T tne creatures tnat llg s ea surrounaea Dy a fringe of inquisitive creatures” may be a representation of some form of Halo. This particular moment is extremely poignant as there has been a climax and a pulsing crescendo until this point and then suddenly everything comes to a grinding halt as Simon is murdered. I think Golding may also be referring to Simon as a Christ like figure as Golding was a devout Christian, he may have been trying to portray a Christian message through the character of Simon.
As Simon is washed out to sea so is the parachutist that Simon releases, I feel that the parachutist represents the unknown and the outside world, quintessentially. The very fact that both Simon and the parachutist are washed out to sea is both literal and metaphorical. The washing out to sea could represent the boys’ chance of rescue getting stripped from them as they have ruined it through their savage and primal behaviour. In addition to the character of Simon who ultimately is a character of innate goodness, innocence and morality.
There is the character of Piggy who in certain ways portrays similar attributes and moral messages as Simon but also a few dissimilar traits. Piggy is a short and portly boy who wears glasses. I think most importantly, Piggy represents order and democracy, on the island Piggy tries extremely hard to ensure civilization and democracy are enforced; he consistently suggests to have a meeting” or make sure that everyone speaks their turn “hold the conch”.
At the beginning of he novel Piggy finds a Conch that he tells Ralph we can use this to tell the others- have a meeting” this very simply shows Piggys logic and simply common sense, as the novel progresses it becomes apparent that the some of the other boys lack this realism and rationality that Piggy seems to exemplify. Throughout the novel it becomes clear that Piggy doesn’t exhibit this received pronunciation that Jack, Ralph and some of the others boys do, this is extremely apparent as when Piggy speaks he will talk in a vernacular manner; ass-mar” you can’t half swim” s’alright. t’s a shell’.
I seen one like that before”. I think Golding may have done this purposely to put across the idea that although Piggy isn’t from a particularly upper class background he still possess intelligence, lucidity and compassion. As Golding taught at a private school for boys for a long period of his life he may have some dislike for this type of schooling or even a sense of criticism that he wanted to convey through his book. In addition, due to Piggy’s plump and ugly aesthetics the boys don’t take Piggy’s logical and ethical thoughts into consideration instead they persecute him. Throughout the novel, aiding Ralph is Piggy.
Piggy helps Ralph to make decisions and come to conclusions. This is the case for most democratic political systems in the world; a certain person is elected for his or her exterior appearances, charm and humour and then told what to by aides. The aides being the people with the real intellectualism who don’t get the recognition they deserve. This may have been some form of reference to William Goldings particular dislike of a present democracy or government. In spite of this, Piggy and Ralph work very well as a team. Piggys intellect and egalitarian ways complement Ralph’s common sense ana leader snip qualltles.
I Teel tnat Ralpn ana Pig relatlonsnlp Is symbiotic, the support one another, this may be a representation of certain superheroes and their ‘side-kicks’ although they work well together, the superhero always gets the gratitude and glory whereas the ‘side kick never fulfils their potential. I believe that Piggy and Ralph are influential and effective, each retaining qualities that the other is deficient in. Piggy is afflicted with several disadvantages; Ass-mar”, he isn’t allowed to run or wim and most importantly he is afflicted with bad eye sight resulting in him having to wear glasses.
These glasses are extremely symbolic and essentially allegorise clear sightedness. The fact the Piggy is consistently cleaning and preening his glasses show his persistence for society on the island to be calm, contented and serene. These glasses are essential for Piggy to see but also have a fundamental purpose to the other boys; they can start a fire. This ability to light a fire is something that sets humans and animals apart. This may mean that the glasses symbolise fire but dditionally elucidation and knowledge and also they create stark contrast between mature and civilised ways and primitive instincts.
To add to this, Piggy is also the boy who enforces the utilisation of the conch. This conch is nothing more than a beautiful shell but its use is in what it represents and symbolises to the boys. Piggy solely believes that the conch is the answer to having a fair and equal life on the island. As things begin to worsen on the island Piggy is even more insistent on using the Conch, emphasising his dependence on the Conch to helping difficult situations. Throughout he novel Piggy treats the conch with respect and affection, this is particularly evident on page 182 when the overwrought atmosphere on the island has heightened massively.
Piggys unprepossessing external looks prevent him from contributing his full potential on the island, perhaps true of society in certain cases. Even Ralph dismisses Piggy at first. The depiction of Piggy is constantly negative and unconstructive fat boy’ , Golding always uses negative description of Piggy, perhaps reiterating the boys thoughts of the other boys, not necessarily down to what Golding wants the readers to think about Piggy. Golding may additionally use this discouraging portrayal as it creates a great deal of empathy particularly when Piggy is killed as throughout the book you have really warmed to his character.
Although the overall impression that Piggy portrays is very morally right and compassionate to others he also has some slightly adverse aspects to his personality. For instance, Piggy is angry about the forest fire and the disappearance of the boy with the birthmark, but ironically Piggys glasses were used to start the fire, therefore Piggy is indirectly accountable. Golding may have not only used this to show that here is a hint of bad in everyone but also show how seemingly good ideas can often lead to terrible things.
This is very true of life in general and perhaps Golding was trying to expose the idea of a ‘snowball effect’. This idea was extremely evident throughout the world war. I ne aeatn 0T Piggy Is an extremely tnougnt provoking, emotional ana symDollc part 0T the novel. Piggys death occurs in chapter 11 after Piggy and Ralph decide to talk to Jack Merridew to get Piggys glasses back. I believe that after Piggy has died Golding compares Piggy to the pig that Jack and his hunters killed earlier in the novel.
For xample, when Piggy dies, Golding describes his demise by saying ‘arms and legs twitched a bit, like a pigs after it has been killed’ this is very similar to the death of the pig earlier in the novel. Golding may have specifically given Piggy this name to compare to the pig. Although the pig and piggy are externally unattractive they are both vital to surviving on the island. Piggy provides knowledgeable advice and the pig is a crucial food source. I think that it is strangely ironic that the two boys who provide intellectualism and integrity on the island end up the ones who are brutally murdered.
Perhaps Golding as trying to suggest that the other boys savage and inhumane ways have resulted in the two most morally correct young boys being malevolently murdered. This may be warning for readers; present and future that the breaking of rules and the rebelling of democracy can end up in the break down of civilization and in extreme cases result in good and decent people being killed. Both Piggy and Simon have quite a lot in common, most importantly Piggy and Simon are both ‘outcasts’ in their friendship groups. Piggy is perceived as fat, ugly and peculiar by all the other boys and particularly Ralph at the beginning.
Simon belongs to the choir and when the choir first arrive, Simon faints, Jack tells the others that he is always throwing a faint”. This marks Simon as being strange and different to the other boys, Ralph even calls Simon an ‘oddity. This may have a certain importance as Golding may be suggesting that in life it is normally people that are perceived as ‘odd’ or ‘strange’ that are oppressed and persecuted. Despite being perceived as weird or bizarre these sorts of people normally have a great deal to offer, be it in conversation, in the employment industry, in a pub quiz or ultimately society in general.See More on William Golding