The Function of Logic

Who exactly is Piggy? In the novel “The Lord of the Flies” by WIlliam Golding, the other characters treat him as if he does not matter to the group but ironically is more important than most characters in the book. Some may see Piggy as a symbol of Logos, a symbol for a logic in the book and a form of leadership. Others may say Piggy along with Jack, are meant to symbolize the constant battle between civilization and savagery to give the reader an obvious clue of the state of living the children are in. I think that whenever we look at the importance of a character or event, we should identify  how it affects the main character, in this case being Ralph, and his relationship with Piggy. Piggy’s presence and passing in the book not only serves as the presence and passing of logical thinking but as the most important influence on Ralph’s actions.

In this scene from Lord of The Flies, Jack stole Piggy’s glasses and the fire that Ralph’s group was keeping safe. Piggy observes Ralph who is in a broken state of mind, as Jack took away Ralph’s position as leader, stole his fire which was his only mission and had brought on the  the life of Simon. Piggy reasons with Ralph and says that his mission isn’t over and that he must face Jack. (As last Piggy spoke, kindly. “Course we have. ’Cos the smoke’s a signal and we can’t be rescued if we don’t have smoke.” “I knew that!” shouted Ralph. He pulled his arm away from Piggy. “Are you suggesting?” “I’m jus’ saying what you always say,” said Piggy hastily. “I’d thought for a moment—” “I hadn’t,” said Ralph loudly. “I knew it all the time. I hadn’t forgotten.” Piggy nodded propitiatingly. “You’re chief, Ralph. You remember everything.” “I hadn’t forgotten.” “ ’Course not.” 173)  Piggy’s serves as a loyal servant to Ralph who maintains Ralphs will to lead alive. Ralph clearly forgot that the fire was there only means of communication with the outside world, which rejuvenated his will to lead Piggy’s reminder and persuasion was enough to get Ralph back on his feet. Through Piggy’s actions I was reminded of the relationship between angels and humans in the bible.

The Archangel Uriel is a biblical figure that serves as a servant of God, carrying out his bidding and aiding humankind. Uriel is commonly thought of as the “Lord of powerful action”. The archangels has been known for his critical advice given throughout the bible as he was the angel sent to warn Noah of the great flood. Uriel seems to give advice during extremely critical times that would control the fate of the world that we live in. In correlation to Piggy’s actions, he seems to be Ralphs only source of wisdom and acts as his only source of power. Ralph is clouded by misjudgment as his desperation to contact the outside world, along with the savagery that Jack has ensued. Uriel's is said to shine light in the darkness of confusion, Piggy’s actions throughout chapter 11 show resemblance to the angel if you look at the scenario. Ralphs “darkness of confusion” is his loss will, his view as leadr is fading and can only yearn for his past life as he begins to vision riding home on busses and trains. Ralph come to the conclusion that this life of savagery that Jack has brought upon the boys is in fact their new lives and in turn subliminally losses hope of seeking rescue and forgets his mission to keep the fire burning. The advice that Piggy provides Ralph acts as that light that Ralph needs so much. Piggy has an immense  influence on Ralph, at this moment in the book Ralph could have become entirely savage without that talk. Not only do Piggy’s actions in the story share resemblance to religious writing, they also seem to share resemblance to certain roles in the government.

The role of Senior Advisor’s is one that has been around for at least 24 years, these people are high-ranking advisors tasked to advise the President's. David Axelrod was former President Barrack Obama’s Senior Advisor for two years and made Obama’s media strategies for both Presidential Campaigns. During Obama’s last prep session for his debate in Denver, Axelrod knew that Obama was not in shape for his debate with Romney during his re-election, Obama starts off with "Well, I think that went pretty well." And I said, "Well, actually there are some things we need to work on yet." He didn't receive that news well and used a word that he has never used before or since and that I won't use here, but made clear how he felt about me at that moment, and he bolted out of the room and I didn't see him until the next morning.” The role of Axelrod more or less is to instruct Obama into being a better President in the way Piggy averred Ralph. The process in which this happens has some differences but when comparing the situations of Obama and Ralph juxtaposing the two help see the similarities. During Obama's re-election, Axelrod said “I think every single one of us, including the president, knew we weren't headed into Denver in good shape-”, Ralph was in a broken state that made him weak. Both showed signs of weakness and in response, their advisors made it clear to them that they were not qualified for their respected goal. Piggy’s representation as an advisor clearly show the influence that he has on Ralph through his eagerness to help Ralph succeed.

To some, Piggy isn’t that important and can only be seen as some character who died, that he wasn’t at all capable of leading the group. Piggy’s influence on Ralph is what really helps us see his importance because Ralph tends to rely heavily on Piggy in the later chapters. Through all of this it is important to see the affects that one's words can have on their leader and in a sense, lead their leader.

Work Cited

  • Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York : Penguin, 2006.

  • Chaignot, Mary Jane. “Angel Uriel”. BibleWise 2016.

  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “Uriel”. DLXS, University of Michigan 2001.;view=fulltext

  • Axelrod, David. David Axelrod Recounts His Years As Obama's Adviser And 'Believer'. Fresh Air.

Comments (2)

Marcin Czapla (Student 2019)
Marcin Czapla
  1. This paper did convince me that Piggy was more than just a character that died. Technically it didn't convince me since I also believed Piggy was more than just a character that died and that he inspired leadership inside Ralph, but the examples you used helped prove that even more.

  2. Another example you could have used was when Piggy told Ralph to use the conch.

Harlem Satterfield (Student 2019)
Harlem Satterfield
  1. whistle This paper is really impressive and it definitely convinces me. I like how you said that Piggy is "leading the leader" at the end. That's a nice way of putting it. This helped to believe that Piggy is the last remnant of civilized people.

  2. This isn't really an example of human behavior, but another example you can add to this essay is how Piggy is portrayed in the movie adaptations. In the 1990 film, Piggy always had on decent clothing. He had a suit jacket on and some pants, if I remember correctly, while the other boys were barely dressed.