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Disability, Maturity and Society in Lord of the Flies

            In William Golding's 1954 novel Lord of the Flies, a group of British schoolboys are stranded on a deserted island after a plane crash. Two of the boys are excluded and ostracised from the group. These two boys, Piggy and Simon, are different from the other boys for two reasons. Firstly, they both suffer from a disability (in Simon's case, epilepsy. In Piggy's case, asthma, myopia, and he is overweight). Secondly, both boys are wise beyond their years and show maturity for their age. Additionally, they are kinder and possess more morality than the others. The boys' exclusion speaks volumes about society's attitudes towards disabled people, those who know more than the average person, and people who are different to the majority.
             First of all, both Piggy and Simon are disabled. Piggy is near-sighted and wears thick glasses, he is overweight and he has asthma. Asthma is often associated with the stereotype of the nonathletic nerd (which actually fits Piggy quite well). Because of his asthma, Piggy cannot blow the conch, and he finds it very difficult to keep up with the other, healthier boys. None of the other boys attempt to help him keep up or slow down with him. This shows how the world does not seem to care about those with disabilities, and the world is made much harder for them, just like living on the island is harder for poor little Piggy. Although it is not stated outright in the text, it is assumed that Simon is epileptic. If we want to get specific, Simon probably has temporal lobe epilepsy. This is evidenced by his fainting spells, common in epilepsy patients. After his Lord of the Flies hallucination he has a seizure-like event, with Golding writing that "Simon's head wobbled" and "his eyes were half-closed", which are common things that happen during seizures. This has almost definitely happened to Simon before, as he mentions, "one of his times is coming on".

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