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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Lord of the Flies by William Golding-Free Summary
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PIGGY

Piggy has an obvious meaning, and the name connects the boy to the pigs which the other boys hunt and kill.

Piggy is a little like Simon in that he is the butt of cruelty and laughter. He has several disabilities-his asthma, his obesity, and his near blindness-and they set him apart from the other boys. But his illnesses have isolated him and given him time to think about life. Like Simon, Piggy is wiser than most of the boys; however, he is able to speak up at meetings more than Simon can, and he becomes Ralph's respected friend.

As advisor to Ralph, Piggy understands more than Ralph does. It is Piggy who knows that blowing the conch will call the boys together. Piggy tries to help Ralph keep order. He also tries to think what adults would do if they were in the same situation. Piggy represents civilization and its hold on man.

Piggy is a thinking person, one who has a strong belief in scientific explanations and rational solutions to problems. However, Piggy has his blind spots. He wants to believe that once you're an adult, you no longer fear the dark, and that life can always be explained. He also wants little to do with understanding evil. After Simon has been murdered, Piggy tries to deny and rationalize the killing.

Piggy's presence on the island is a constant reminder of how thinking people live. In the jungle he becomes weakened, civilization recedes, and with his death the law of the jungle prevails. Piggy is Golding's argument for the need of civilization and his case against man's return to a more innocent state in nature.


ROGER

Roger comes from the German and means "spear." Roger's power is the use of brute force totally at whim.

As Jack's right-hand man, Roger darkly parallels Piggy's relationship to Ralph. There is much conversation between Piggy and Ralph but little between Jack and Roger. Roger carries out, to an extreme, Jack's aggressive use of force. Roger's brute force is indiscriminate.

Roger is the cruelest of the characters, and even though he doesn't play a large part in the story, his role leaves the reader shuddering. Roger uses his spear to torment the sow after the boys have captured it. Later he brags about it, flaunting his meanness. He is responsible for wantonly murdering Piggy, using a stick to pry loose a boulder that bounds down and strikes him. Roger represents the worst that develops in people when there is no civilization to keep them in line. Roger despises civilization and sees it as a hindrance to what he wants.

SAM AND ERIC

Sam and Eric are twins who are incapable of acting independently of one another. They seem to become one person, answering to a name that has been slurred together into Samneric. They represent loss of identity through fear of the beast.

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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Lord of the Flies by William Golding-Free Summary
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