In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies there are many characters. Two of the most prominent and distinct characters are Piggy, and Jack Merridew.
Both Jack and Piggy, are stubborn English boys of about 12 years old and symbolically represent groups of society and parts of the human thought, but Jack and Piggy’s similarities end there. Jack is a physically healthy boy with little intellect who cannot think and rationalize too deeply, he represents anarchy and is the id of society whereas Piggy has little if no physical ability and can think and rationalize very well.
Piggy represents the super-ego of the microcosm society/world. He is the voice of wisdom and guidance in the novel.
The differences between Jack and Piggy are quite clear at the beginning of the novel and continue to develop and become more evident throughout the novel as Jack and Piggy react very differently to situations and problems that face them. At the beginning of the book the differences in physical ability and fitness are distinct between Piggy and Jack.
Piggy is very corpulent, hence the nickname Piggy.He can barely run and cannot swim because of his asthma and has been wearing glasses since he was three.
He tip-toed down the sandy side of the pool, and sat there up to his neck in water smiling proudly at Ralph. “Aren’t you going to swim? – Piggy shook his head. “I can’t swim. My asthma—- In contrast, Jack is a tall thin boy who does not have any instruments to aid his senses.
He does not have asthma and can swim and run freely. He, Ralph, and Simon are the ones who go exploring the island at the beginning.This is the same exploring trip that Ralph denies Piggy because he lacks the physical requirements and would only slow them down. Jack quickly develops the reputation of being a great hunter because of his stamina, his tracking ability, and because he succeeds in killing his prey.
“Jack paused, cradling the conch, and turned to his hunters with their dirty black caps. Am I a hunter or am I not? ‘ They nodded simply. He was a hunter all right. No one doubted that.
“” Another major difference between Jack and Piggy is their cognitive ability.Piggy is a thinker while Jack cannot or does not think things through. Piggy can rationalize very well and can prioritize what needs to be done. ” How can you expect to be rescued if you don’t put first things first and act proper? – Numerous times Piggy is yelling at the other children because of their plans of action and what they are doing.
Although the others despise him, Piggy is the voice of knowledge and wisdom. Piggy knows the values of the rules and tries to maintain them and is often hiding behind them for support.Piggy knows what the best course of action is. I’ve got the conch! Just you listen! The first thing we out to have made was shelters down there by the beach.
It wasn’t half cold down there in the night. But the first time Ralph says fire’ you goes howling and screaming up this here mountain. Like a pack of kids! – Ralph is the only other boy who can think semi-intelligently and sees Piggy’s intelligence and ability to rationalize. “Only decided Ralph as he faced the chief’s seat, I can’t think.
Not like Piggy. “” Jack on the other hand, has little cognitive cannot reason and think things through.He is very self-confident and is a natural leader, which makes others believe he is intelligent and wise. Jack often resorts to primitive violence and judges people mostly on their athletic ability and self-confidence, which is the main reason he has such a disliking for Piggy who lacks both of these.
He does not realize the value of the fire and cannot prioritize what needs to be done. Unlike Piggy, Jack does not know how to sow the seeds of future prosperity; he only lives to satisfy himself at the present moment. An example of this would be Jack desire for meat.Jack starts off with the desire for meat, which continues to grow and eventually is what turns him into a savage.
” You wouldn’t care to help us with the shelters, I suppose? ‘ We want meat “‘ And we don’t get it. But I shall! Next time! ‘ This is just one of many examples of Jack obsessing over his desire for meat. Because Piggy can reason and think much better than Jack, they both start to arrive at different ways of how they should run their little society. The only reason Jack rivals and eventually overpowers Piggy’s reasoning is because of the way he presents himself; which is powerful and knowledgeable.
Of all the differences between Jack and Piggy, symbolic representation is most likely the biggest. Piggy is the super-ego, the voice of wisdom and reason whereas Jack is the id, which can only understand what it wants and demands instant gratification. Piggy knows what they should do and does what society expects of him. ” Whats grown ups going to think? – He believes in order and rules and is law abiding.
To Piggy the rules are cast in stone and he often hides behind them. ” I got the conch! I got a right to speak! – Besides Ralph, Piggy is the only one who does not become a savage.He stays a firm believer in order, rules, and the original democratic government created with Ralph as the leader. He dies along with the conch, which also stood for order and rules.
In contrast, Jack is the first to become a savage; he is the first to put face paint on, he is the first to hunt and kill, and he is the first to leave the democratic government, and start a savage tribe that does as it pleases with no conscience. Jack represents the id of society. He demands instant gratification and only thinks of what he wants at the present.”We want meat.
” His behaviour eventually leads to anarchy and chaos and the destruction of the island. “The rules! – Shouted Ralph, “you’re breaking the rules! – Who cares? – Jack and Piggy are very different characters whose differences become more and more evident as the story progresses and the boys are put to physical, intellectual, and moral tests that make their characters even more different and distinctive. At the end of the book it is easy to see that Jack and Piggy are extreme opposites of physical ability, cognitive ability, and symbolic representation.
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