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Symbols In Lord Of The Flies

            Piggy's specs are a very symbolic object. Piggy is a social outcast but his intelligence and thoughtfulness well exceed that of any of the other boys. His thoughts come to life through Ralph's image to make an ultimate leader. The specs are a symbol of man's ability to perceive and think, man's greed, and the boys" vision of civilization. Piggy is the most intelligent boy and has the clearest perception of the boys on the island. The fact that he wears glasses is a symbol of his intelligence. After he was killed, "There was no Piggy to talk sense."(216) Piggy was "a true, wise friend." (202). At the beginning of the novel, Ralph uses the specs to create a signal fire for rescue, an intelligent idea. However, Jack uses Piggy's specs to "smoke [Ralph] out and set the island on fire"(217). This is a contrast between the good and bad applications of man's knowledge. The specs symbolise the greedy nature of mankind. The two tribes want the specs to create fire. Jack's tribe wants fire to cook, Ralph's tribe want the specs to keep the signal fire going. Ralph's tribe was willing to share the glasses, "[Jack], You could have had fire whenever you wanted. But you didn't. You came sneaking up like a thief and stole Piggy's glasses!" (195) Jack would rather steal the specs and make Ralph's tribe weak than share the tools they have collectively. He wants to have more power at all costs. His lack of morals lets his greedy nature take him over, and his followers as well. It is interesting because when Piggy has lost his glasses and can not see, the rest of the boys also lose their perception of reality and what is and is not acceptable behaviour. Roger loses his vision of what is humane, and "with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned all of his weight on the lever"(200) and took Piggy's life. They practically abandon all ties to civilized life, and they are too blind to see this. Piggy's glasses are a stereotypical symbol of intelligence, a useful tool that shows man's innovativeness for good or bad, and a symbol of blind prejudiced and cruelty that man can possess.

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