Exploring the character of Piggy through chapters 1 and 2, focusing on his appearance, his behaviour, his actions, his personality and his thoughts. In chapter 1, Piggy has not yet been given any identity and is therefore referred to as the ” fat boy.”
Through chapters 1 and 2 Piggy becomes the victim of a case of bullying which slowly starts to affect him as the chapters progress, however, he is also the one who has the most sensible, mature suggestions. This interpretation of Piggy is shown when he says, ” We got to find the others. We got to do something” this being a very sensible idea. Although he is the one who has the most common sense, the immaturity frequently shows when he refers back to his Aunty and refers to home. He is also very easily satisfied and he shows this through his facial expressions. He also regularly acts childish and does playful gestures towards Ralph and later on to the characters who have currently not been introduced. His actions, approach and feelings towards the situation are the main indication of the type of person he is and the reader can learn a lot about Piggy in these ways.
The first evidence in which suggests that Piggy is fat is when the author describes Piggy’s knees as being ” plump” From this diminutive description of Piggy, the first indication of Piggy’s appearance is given, suggesting Piggy’s size, however, it gives no identity and reveals no gender. Piggy is then described and compared to Ralph as being “shorter than the fair boy,” suggesting his height. The next revelation of Piggy’s appearance is when he “looked up through thick spectacles” The important fact that he constantly wears spectacles is mentioned very early on in the chapter suggesting that it is a key fact and will be a vital part of his appearance as the novel progresses.
The grammar in which piggy frequently uses, shows he comes from a working class family, “we was attacked” when it should be “we were attacked” shows how he has been brought up using incorrect grammar.
Piggy is the character who is not afraid to take the first step to friendship. “What’s your name?” is what he asks Ralph right at the beginning of chapter 1, which gives the impression that he is very friendly and open. However, he soon realises that Ralph seems uninterested in any aspect of friendship and replies very bluntly to all Piggy’s questions and comments. It seems, however, that Piggy is desperate for some sort of security through friendship as he continues attempting to learn more about Ralph.
Piggy often mentions home, suggesting that he is quite young and needs the security of having grown ups around.
Piggy often speaks timidly which substantiates the fact that he is very shy; this could be the result of the taunts of being nicknamed “Piggy” and the constant bullying he has experienced. He seems to have a continuous sense of anxiety, which the author discreetly interprets through the language he uses in Piggy’s dialogue. The sense of eagerness to find the others is suggested in this way too. ” We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They’ll come when they hear us.” This is both a statement which suggests his anxiety, and also is a sensible suggestion which proves his sense of eagerness to widen the group for extra security.
Piggy is the one who is desperate to get off the island and return to his regular lifestyle. He is always eager to help and to contribute suggestions in group meetings. He is not the type of person to threaten Ralph’s leadership and his happy to step down to that role. However, he is not scared to offer his ideas and opinions and continuously does so which the group often benefits from.
He presents himself as a patient individual who rarely loses his temper. This impression is given when he reacts to Ralph’s sarcastic ways, with patience.
He seems to frequently look up to Ralph in a brotherly manner as well as being very envious of him. The fact that Piggy is fat and Ralph is not, gives piggy a reason to be envious of him. It is also implied that Piggy admires Ralph as the author describes the way Piggy looks at Ralph ” in open admiration.”
The introduction to Piggy in the first 2 chapters of the novel implies that Piggy is persistently shy and steps down to any individual who has any role of leadership. However, at the end of chapter 2, when all the boys are having a meeting and a discussion, Piggy is daring enough to take the conch to speak. When Piggy goes to talk he says, “I got the conch” this suggests that Piggy is indignant and when everyone laughs at him he loses his temper. Once he starts expressing his feelings, he cannot stop. It seems as if it is a relief to get all his opinions and feelings out in the open and finally let out his anger and anxiety in this irritated fashion. He becomes hysterical and rapidly becomes stubborn as he refuses to listen to anyone’s comments. This is a sudden change in personality, of which we are unsure of whether he is acting out of character or not.
In conclusion from the first two chapters of the novel, it is clear that there is more about Piggy that the reader has not yet learnt. However, the descriptions and information, as well as the dialogue, between characters informs the reader of a great deal. His appearance, personality, behaviour and thoughts are all expressed effectively through the author’s language and the format of the chapters.