William Golding believes that every human is born evil and can only make themselves less evil by performing good works. Lord of the Flies shows the belief of natural wickedness in humans and how some will try and stray away from that natural evil. Two characters from the book, Ralph and Piggy, both try to run away from their natural evil and create a more civilized, humane form of society on the island. Ralph and Piggy are more than boys stuck on an island as Piggy symbolizes intelligence and Ralph represents a symbol of civilization. Lord of the Flies by William Golding is rich in symbolism and an outstanding example of allegory, as each character corresponds to a larger idea and broader theme. Piggy is a peaceful, intelligent boy who is often out casted out of everything due to his physical appearance. For instance, Ralph is thinking about qualities of a great chief and he says, “But Piggy, for all his ludicrous body, had brains” (Golding 78). Ralph believes that Piggy has a ridiculous body; however he is brilliant and has the wisdom of a potential chief. Piggy has many assets of a great chief, but sadly the other kids on the island will not give him a chance due to his physical appearance.
Piggy is the smartest boy on the island who is ignored and set aside from society because of his physical traits. Piggy represents a symbol of intelligence that the boys use to take advantage in return for what they need. Furthermore, when the boys try to start the signal fire, they shout, “Piggy! Have you got any matches?” (40). The boys have little respect for Piggy while on the island as they use him to get what they want and do not appreciate his presence on the island despite his helpful ideas. In today’s society, Piggy will most likely represent a young, hard-working employee that works for an arrogant boss who is inconsiderate and unfair as he abuses Piggy’s intelligent to do whatever he commands. Piggy is kind enough to be taken advantage of, which is why the boys on the island abuse his intelligence without appreciating him. Ralph is an optimistic, reasonable leader that has an orderly rule and wants to get everyone back home, but is faced with rebellious boys that do not listen to his ideas.
For example, when Jack neglects the signal fire, Ralph exclaims, “There was a ship. Out there. You said you’d keep the fire going and you let it out!” (70). Ralph has a masterful plan that requires Jack and the others to be on board and not behave like savages trying to capture a pig. No one takes consideration of the signal fire and they do what they want to do, which destroys a possible chance of getting rescued. Ralph wants to keep a civilized rule similar to what he learned through his days back at home; however the other boys want to hunt and do what they think is necessary for survival. Ralph represents a symbol of civilization and portrays a civilized leader. In addition, the naval officer asks who the boss is around the island and Ralph replies, “I am” (201). After all the chaos that pursued, Ralph still took leadership about being in charge despite Jacks quest for power. In today’s society, Ralph would most likely represent a strong, political leader such as martin Luther King JR who uses his reason, humanity, and leadership to solve issues.
Ralph wanted to create a civilized plan to bring all the boys back home; however, all the boys savagely turned into animals and destroyed the Ralph’s plan of getting home. Lord of the Flies by William Golding portrays many examples of symbolism that go into a deeper theme and meaning through the characters. Piggy was an intelligent boy who knew what needed to be done, but the other boys did not listen to him because he did not fit in. Ralph was a great leader who was civilized in the majority of his decisions; sadly his fellow boys on the island turned to savagery and dismantled his rule and the humanity. Each boy represented a broader meaning as Piggy was the intelligence on the island, while Ralph was the leadership and humanity on the island. Both characters were allegorized as a more meaningful theme that has a deeper meaning than just two boys with certain traits.