Copyright

Lord of the Flies: Piggy's Death

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Lord of the Flies: Simon's Death

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 Summary of Piggy's Death
  • 2:47 Savagery V. Civilization
  • 4:15 Shattered on the Rocks
  • 5:15 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kimberly Myers

Kimberly has taught college writing and rhetoric and has a master's degree in Comparative Literature.

This lesson is a description and analysis of Piggy's death in 'Lord of the Flies.' We will examine the events leading up to Piggy's death, as well as the symbolic and practical effects of his death.

Summary of Piggy's Death

Piggy's death occurs in Chapter 11 of Lord of the Flies. At the beginning of the chapter, Piggy's glasses are still being held hostage by Jack's tribe. Without them, the bigguns aren't able to start a fire. Ralph decides that the four remaining members of his group will meet with Jack's tribe to ask for Piggy's glasses back and try to remind the others that collaborating to build a signal fire is their best chance of being rescued.

When Ralph's group gets to Jack's end of the island, they don't get a warm welcome. Roger throws rocks at Sam and Eric, and Jack comes back from hunting and tells all of them to go back to their territory. Ralph calls Jack a thief because he stole Piggy's glasses, leaving Piggy virtually blind. Jack and Ralph fight a little with their spears, and the atmosphere becomes very tense very quickly.

Piggy, unable to see much of what is going on, crouches against the rocks near Castle Rock. Ralph passionately tries to get the boys to see the importance of the signal fire, but Jack's group laughs at him. To provoke Ralph, Jack orders his boys to tie up Sam and Eric. Ralph and Jack fight again, and Piggy calls out above the shouting.

Piggy yells that he has the conch. He raises it in the air and the boys quiet down, curious to see what Piggy is going to say. The conch shell still has some power over them; they haven't quite forgotten the symbolic authority that it bestows on whoever holds it.

Piggy scolds the group, telling them that they are acting like children. He asks them, 'Which is better--to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?' Ralph chimes in and asks, 'Which is better, law and rescue, or hunting and breaking things up?'

The boys start yelling again, a 'storm of sound' and hatred. Up on Castle Rock, Roger leans on a lever and sends a giant boulder crashing down the hill. The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist. Piggy, saying nothing, with no time for even a grunt, traveled through the air sideways from the rock, turning over as he went. The rock bounded twice and was lost in the forest. Piggy fell forty feet and landed on his back across the square red rock in the sea. Piggy's skull breaks open, and the waves quickly carry his body away.

Jack begins yelling, telling Ralph that there is no tribe left for him, the conch is gone, and that he is chief. Jack cuts Ralph with his spear, and Ralph barely escapes into the forest. Piggy is lost to the waves, Samneric are prisoners, and Ralph is alone.

Savagery v. Civilization

Piggy's character can be read as representing the scientific and rational side of human nature. He is logical, inventive, and craves order and civility. Throughout the novel, Piggy never wavers from his belief in order and authority. In contrast, Jack's tribe is taken over by the basic instincts of power, violence, and animalism.

Even as Ralph's group plans to go confront Jack, Piggy is convinced that the conch and a reasoned argument will be enough to ensure that they are heard. One of the major reasons why this confrontation is necessary is because Jack's tribe has stolen Piggy's glasses, which are the means of making fire.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support