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Lord of The Flies- Piggy's specs

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Neha Paragi

on 16 September 2014

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Transcript of Lord of The Flies- Piggy's specs

Piggy's Glasses
'"[Piggy's] specs - use them as burning glasses!" [said Jack]. Pigy was surrounded before he could back away. "Here - let me go! His voice rose to a shriek of terror as Jack snatched the glasses off his face. "Mind out! Give 'em back! I can hardly see! You'll break the conch!" [Piggy said]. Ralph elbowed him to one side and knelt by the pile. "Stand out of the light." [said Ralph] (Golding 40).
“‘They (grown-ups) wouldn’t quarrel-’ ‘Or break my specs-’” (Golding 133).

Piggy, Simon, and Ralph take a moment to discuss what their island society has turned into. From the beginning, where a life without grown-ups seemed appealing, to late in the novel, where the boys wish they were grown-ups, a change in attitudes occurs as some of the boys realize that they have gone from being well brought-up British boys to hunting savages.When they broke the lens, they started the degeneration of their island society that is irreversible since the broken lens can never be fixed by the simplistic civilization of the island. However, a reflection on their actions indicates that the boys have not yet lost all sense of right and wrong so some of of the boys have not completely degenerated at this point. They have not yet become completely dependent on their id; some of their ego and superego still exists.

'Ralph made a step forward and Jack smacked Piggy's head. Piggy's glasses flew off and tinkled on the rocks. Piggy cried out in terror: "My specs!" ... "One side's broken." [said Simon]. Piggy grabbed and put on the glasses. He looked malevolently at Jack. "I got to have them specs. Now I only got one eye. Jus' you wait-" Jack made a move toward Piggy, who scrambled away till a great rock lay between them' (Golding 71).
"The chief led them, trotting steadily, exulting in his achievement. He was a chief now in truth; and he made stabbing motions with his spear. From his left hand dangled Piggy's broken glasses " (Golding 168).
'"My specs!" Howled Piggy. "Give me my specs!" Ralph stood away from the pile and put the glasses into Piggy's groping hands. His voice subsided to a mutter. "Jus' blurs, that's all. Hardly see my hand-" [said Piggy]. The boys were dancing' (Golding 41).
Shortly after losing his glasses the first time, Piggy exclaims that he is blind and can only see “[just] blurs” and can only “see [his] hand.” However, nobody else in the group seems to care about Piggy’s temporary incapacitation; the boys only care about the fire and begin to dance in celebration. However, since the fire is also vital to their survival and rescue, the boys have not yet degenerated much from their initial state. The fire is a legitimate concern; however, this does not excuse their lack of concern for Piggy and his blindness.

“He took off his glasses and blinked at them. The sun had gone as if the light had been turned off” (Golding 118).

When serious talk about a beast begins, the intelligence of the society the boys have created plummets. Their main focus changes from keeping the fire going so that they can be rescued to hunting for the beast that they claim roams the island. Instead of logically discussing the plausibility of an actual beast living on the island, the boys immediately jumped to the conclusion that the beast was alive and it needed to be hunted. As Piggy proceeds to take his glasses off at the same time the sun goes down, he symbolizes the drop of intelligence in society as their bright hopes diminish and recede in the face of fear over the beast as time progresses. The degeneration of society can also be seen as the boys’ brainpower lessens from the level that it was in civilization to the much lower level that it becomes on the isolated island.
"I got to have them specs. Now I only got one eye" (Golding 90).
“‘We’ve got to start the fire again’‘You haven’t got Piggy’s specs,’ said Jack, ‘so you can’t’” (Golding 166).
After first inventing a game where one boy pretends to be a pig and the others stab at it, the boys cool down and reflect on what needs to be done. Ralph wishes to start another fire but Jack wishes to see if the mountain is clear of the beast first. He points out that since they left Piggy behind, they left his glasses behind as well. Ralph’s thoughts wandering to Piggy shows that he realizes the importance of Piggy’s glasses to the boys’ society. Since they left intelligence behind, they began to play a savage-like game on their way to hunt a beast that they don’t even know exists. The absence of fire and intelligence hastens the breakdown of the island society. What the boys would have once would have found appalling is now normal for the degenerated boys.
In the Lord of the Flies, Piggy's spectacles and their significance in the novel symbolize the degeneration of the boys on the island from civilized englishmen to brutal savages living in the wild.
At the beginning of the book, the boys are still in their civilized state as they had only just arrived on the island. However, once they realize their dilemma in lighting the fire, the boys are susceptible to violence and begin surrounding and attacking Piggy to use his glasses as burning glasses. The moment the boys forcibly take Piggy’s glasses is when their degeneration from law-abiding citizens to brutal savages begins. Piggy mentions that he can “hardly see” and that the boys will “break the conch” by trying to take his glasses. As Piggy is the most intelligent boy on the island, the fact that he is temporarily blinded from his lack of spectacles represents the temporary blindness to reason and nonviolence the boys experience. Piggy is incapcitated by the lack of his glasses, and the very first time he loses them represents the initial step towards total decadence and degeneration.
When Piggy loses his glasses yet again and gets threatened and attacked by Jack, the specs are broken in one eye, representing the further degeneration of the boys’ makeshift society. Even the generally pacifist and reasonable Piggy threatens Jack in response after his glasses are broken, which shows that every boy on the island, whether “good” or “bad”, is susceptible to violence and corruption, which shows how the boys have degenerated even further. The symbolism of the half-broken glasses also represents that the boys are between civilization and savagery. They have spiraled further down into their own corruption, and the single broken lens symbolizes that.
Civilized
Near savagery
Complete Barbarians
Partially Civilized
"Piggy's glasses flew off and tinkled on the rocks" (Golding 71).
At this point in time, Jack's tribe has raided Ralph's tribe and taken Piggy's glasses. After this violent raid, the group of savages hit rock bottom by invading their own kind and taking a dear possession. The whole act of Jack dangling the glasses from his hand shows how the symbolically changes. The glasses start off as a symbol of intelligence and good decision making, portrayed through Piggy. In this situation the glasses, where the glasses were the last bit of humane nature left in the story, this meaning is and they have became a symbol of the boys loss of their childhood innocence. The abuse of the glasses furthers the notion that the boys have distanced themselves from civilization. In addition, the power of the glasses is exemplified in this excerpt. The phrase "He was a chief now in truth" proves that whoever has the glasses has the authority. The power comes from not only the fact that the glasses are a source of fire, but also they are the last item they have from the real civilized world.
After a heated conversation with Jack, Ralph tries to step in to help Piggy, but Jack reacts quickly and smacks Piggy's head. His beloved specs fly off his head and the first signs of the deteriorating civility of the boys is shown. The cracks that occur when the glasses "tinkle on the rocks" essentially are the cracks happening in the group of boys. The glasses have visible damage while the falling-apart of the group is about to surface. Basically, the group starts to split into supporters of Ralph (the mostly civilized people) and supporters of Jack (savages). In addition, Piggy can't physically see since his glasses are broken. But, he notices that the group is going in the direction of corruption
After Piggy retrieves his glasses from the rocks where Jack hit them to, he realizes that they are only half broken. Even though Piggy can technically see through one eye, he is so devastated that he repeats the phrase "I got to have them specs. Now I only have one eye" 3 times. The repetition not only emphasizes his loss, but indirectly is showing that the boys are starting to transform. They started off trying to model themselves after the real society they are use to. As rules are broken and they spend more time on the island, they slowly become the vicious beasts that are described as towards the end. This is only the start of what is to come. While Piggy is remaining humane, the other boys are essentially taking away his ability to keep the situation in control by destroying his glasses and hindering his sight. Piggy's intelligence is partially conveyed through the specs, in essence, without sight in one eye his intelligence is cut in half. If Piggy can't see (which means he won't be able to control or act as well), how is the rest of the group supposed to function properly?
Piggy with one of his lenses broken
The group of boys have completely turned to savages; they dress as such and don body paint
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