Lord of the Flies
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Piggy Timeline and Summary
- As the novel opens, “the fat boy,” follows behind “the fair boy.”
- The two boys meet and discuss the fact that their plane has crashed, and that there aren’t any grown-ups anywhere.
- They decide there must be some more boys around here somewhere, because there were a lot of them on the plane.
- We hear extensively of Piggy’s “ass-mar.”
- Ralph makes his way toward the lagoon, and when Piggy catches up with him, they both swim in the water that’s as warm “as blood.”
- Piggy, embarrassed about revealing his nickname, asks Ralph not to tell anyone, but Ralph does.
- Piggy astutely asserts that no one knows where they are, mostly because the pilot had said an atomic bomb had gone off and that everyone was dead. In conclusion, they are probably going to have to “stay here till [they] die.”
- The boys put their clothes back on and as they’re looking around find a large white shell which Piggy identifies as a conch. He tells Ralph how to blow in it to make a noise.
- As the boys come out of the woodwork, Piggy makes a big deal out of learning all their names.
- When the boys call Piggy “Fatty,” Ralph reveals that no, it’s actually “Piggy.”
- When the time comes to vote for chief, Piggy is the only boy outside of the choir that doesn’t vote for Ralph – at first. He’s still bitter about the nickname thing, but he gets over it and “grudgingly” votes for him anyway.
- Piggy is told he can’t go with the boys on an expedition because of his portly nature and “ass-mar.”
- At an assembly, Piggy demands that a littlun be allowed to speak. When the boy is too shy to speak to the general crowd, Piggy “interprets.”
- The boys climb to the top of the mountain to make a signal fire, collecting dry firewood on the way, and use Piggy’s “specs” (his thick glasses) to magnify the light and start the fire.
- Piggy is mad because the boys stole his glasses (he is almost completely blind without them).
- He grabs the conch from Ralph and begins complaining because no one pays attention to him when he makes suggestions.
- As the smoke drifts through the air, Piggy continues to rant about how they should have built shelters first, down by the water, and about everything else they should have done, then begins gasping for breath as his asthma overwhelms him.
- He can hardly breathe, but he points out that some of the small children (the littluns) seem to be missing, at least the one who’d been complaining about the beastie/snake-thing earlier, and they all realize, with silent fear, that the little boy may be caught below in the huge fire.
- Time has passed. Piggy lies on his stomach staring into the water and suggests that Simon could help Ralph build the shelters they need. He doesn’t seem to feel much compulsion to help out, citing his asthma as the reason that he can’t exert himself.
- More time has passed. Piggy is among the boys trying to build shelters and keep the signal fire going.
- This one time, at island camp, Ralph, Simon, and Piggy swim in the lagoon along with a boy named Maurice.
- Piggy suggests that they should make a sundial, but no one takes his suggestions seriously.
- Suddenly, Ralph sees a tiny streamer of smoke coming up far out on the ocean. As he stands up shouting, the boys all jump out of the water to see the ship that is within sight.
- Piggy is immediately frantic, wondering if the signal fire is still lit, and Ralph runs up the mountain to see.
- The boys are filled with despair, and as Piggy catches up with them, they all look down to see a procession of the choir boys carrying a dead pig on a stake and chanting, “Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood.”
- Jack punches Piggy and his glasses fly off. Piggy screeches and crouches down, feeling around for them.
- When Simon hands them to him, Piggy realizes that one of the lenses is broken, leaving him with vision in just one eye.
- After Ralph calls a meeting to discuss the beast, Piggy states that there is no beast, but that that doesn’t mean there isn’t any fear.
- The idea that the beast might be a ghost is discussed and Piggy flips out, insisting that ghosts don’t exist. Someone yells at him to shut up, and the whole meeting begins to disintegrate.
- Piggy, Ralph, and Simon are left in despair over the situation.
- Ralph says he feels like giving up and Piggy asks desperately what would happen to him then.
- When the boys leave in search of the beast, Piggy is left behind to stay with the littluns.
- We see Simon go off through the jungle to tell Piggy that they won’t be back until after dark.
- The next morning, the boys tell Piggy about the beast that they saw on the mountaintop.
- Piggy finally comes up with the brilliant idea that, if they are all too scared to go up on the mountain, they should instead build a new signal fire down by the beach.
- Everyone is excited and goes about building the new fire.
- With the fire blazing away, Piggy and Ralph look around and realize that many of the biguns – Maurice, Bill, and Roger and Robert – have disappeared.
- Later that night, Piggy and Ralph lie on the sand and gaze at the fire.
- As they wonder how to make things better on the island, “demonic figures with faces of white and red and green rush out howling.”
- Ralph and Piggy finally give in and go to Jack’s feast, along with all the other boys.
- Piggy accepts food from Jack at the feast.
- When things start getting out of hand, Piggy suggests quietly to Ralph that this would probably be a good time for them to leave.
- But before they leave, Piggy ends up taking part in Simon’s murder.
- Piggy and Ralph try to keep the fire going and discuss what they did to Simon.
- Ralph shouts that it was murder and Piggy shrieks that it was not, that they didn’t mean to kill Simon, that it was all an accident.
- Piggy goes on to say that it was Simon’s fault for creeping out of the forest the way he did and into the circle of chanting boys.
- They continue on with this kind of talk, trying to convince each other that they didn’t really participate like the others had. They eventually conclude, with the help of Sam and Eric, that they weren’t even present.
- On seeing Sam and Eric fight with each other, Piggy whispers desperately to Ralph that they’ve got to get out of this somehow before they go “barmy” or “bomb happy,” as he puts it.
- Ralph suggests sarcastically to Piggy that he write a letter to his auntie to come rescue them.
- Piggy replies seriously that he has no envelope and no stamp.
- Ralph laughs at Piggy’s stupid response.
- The boys are fearful of the noises outside and can’t sleep.
- As they lie in the dark someone or something crashes into their shelter and pounces on them, beating them viciously and stealing Piggy’s glasses.
- Piggy wants to go to Jack and the others and insist that they give his glasses back. He makes a speech to Ralph about how it’s the right and reasonable thing to do.
- Ralph doesn’t seem to think it will work, but he agrees to go with Piggy and give it a try anyway.
- They decide to bring the conch shell with them to give an impression of authority.
- They set off along the beach with Sam and Eric, leading Piggy along because he can’t really see anything at all without his glasses.
- When they get there, Piggy screams, afraid to be left by himself when he can’t see.
- Piggy yells at Ralph and Jack to let him speak and holds up the conch. Surprisingly, everyone quiets down.
- Piggy tries to reason with them, telling them to cut out all the painted savage nonsense. He suggests that law and rescue is better than hunting and breaking things up.
- Roger pushes a huge rock off the cliff and onto Piggy.
- The rock falls from the cliff and strikes him, smashing the conch, and knocking him off the forty foot embankment.
- Piggy lands below on out-jutting rock and his head smashes, the contents of his skull oozing out onto the rocks.
- The boys watch in horror as the waves wash up and suck Piggy’s body out to sea.