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"I don't care what they call me,” he said confidentially, “so long as they don’t call me what they used to call me in school.”
Ralph was faintly interested.
“What was that?”
The fat boy glanced over his shoulder, then leaned toward Ralph.
“They used to call me Piggy!” (1.65-70)
Before the boys reveal their names, they are identified by their appearances. Ralph is “the fair boy” and Piggy the “fat” one. But Piggy’s name itself refers to his weight, which means even back in the civilized world appearance determined identity. We might feel at ease once we know everyone’s real name, but this forces us to wonder what the difference is between being called “the fat boy” and “Piggy.” Aren’t they really the same thing?
Jack planned his new face. He made one cheek and one eye-socket white, then he rubbed red over the other half of his face and slashed a black bar of charcoal across from right ear to left jaw […]. “Samneric. Get me a coconut. An empty one.”
He knelt, holding the shell of water […]. He looked in astonishment, no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger. He split the water and leapt to his feet, laughing excitedly. Beside the pool his sinewy body held up a mask that drew their eyes and appalled them. (4.31-33)
Jack is thrilled with his new identity, maybe because it looses the taboos of British culture, maybe because it gives him power over the others. Also, check out the word choice with verbs like “slash” and “split.” Coincidence, or violent imagery?
He giggled and flecked them while the boys laughed at his reeking palms. Then Jack grabbed Maurice and rubbed the stuff [blood] over his cheeks. (8.195)
After the boys kill the mother pig, they laugh and smear their faces with her blood, another sort of mask and a way to feel distanced from the event that has just taken place. As long as they don’t have to feel like themselves, their actions don’t seem as horrifying to them.