The use of children those whom we deem as the bastion of innocence and untainted by the machinations of the adult world are the tool that Golding uses to tear away the damsel enforced veneer of modern society.
This is the shocking mechanism that makes the reader/audience ask themselves uncomfortable questions upon the more repugnant shadows in their souls.
Personally the most affecting aspect of Goldings work is the sheer naked bullying that was faced by the harmless character Piggy.
Of course Simon the harmless,tender Christ like figure that textured the piece with a sign of redemption for the stranded boys only to be torn down in a barbaric hunt. That could be seen as the pivitol moment in which the boys plunged into the twilight of evil.
However it was the gentler strokes of malicious intent dished out to Piggy that got to me. Initially it looked much like playground behaviour,Ralph betrayed Piggy's trust by telling the rest about calling the boy in question Piggy.
A name that caused the boy distress and pain and maybe this level of teasing is what makes us grow thicker skin and fight back.
However as the story advanced it became apparent that Piggy was singled out for other reasons other than his size and unkind moniker. He couldn't run,nor swim,refused to hunt,deemed many of Jacks ideas as dangerous or stupid.
Jack whom at this point was becoming a factor of dangerous independence leading his hunter pack in diffaince at Ralphs more orded rule held personal contempt towards Piggy.
He put down and isolated Piggy whenever he had the opportunity and his impressionable hunter group took lead from this and copied Jack with verbal abuse.
Despite Piggy's reasoned thinking,logical idea creation and ability to communicate with the other boys (hence encouraging education within the ragged pack) the only value that most of the boys though Piggy offered were his glasses which could create fire for the group.
Throughout this Ralph stuck by Piggy,Ralph a reluctant leader at least understood Piggys reasoning and took refuge in his council and compassion. At some points Ralph looked to Piggy for awnsers in a role reversal for the leader,it was clear that Ralph valued Piggy's friendship because he needed him.
Towards the end Jack and his hunters had completely broken away from Ralphs frail order of authority(taking all but Piggy with him) and raided Ralphs end of the island in order to steal Piggy's glasses. Piggy now with no value and Ralph a leader without power or followers were clearly expendable to Jacks hunters.
Upon the mountain Ralph and Piggy confronted Jack and his group,Piggy tried one last time to reason with the boys and seek some salvation in the mindless actions that had taken place.
Roger who was Jacks right hand man mounted the summit of the bullying of Piggy by sending a rock crashing down upon Piggy's head.
The most chilling outcome of this was the smile on Rogers face at some point there was a transition that allowed evil to enter Rogers soul.
Piggy throughout was the living effigy of everyone bullied put upon individual,a boy who really only had something positive to offer but visually and physically not in step with everyone else.
For that reason he was picked out and destroyed without ever being able to display what he could achieve,crushed under the dank blankness of ignorance and fear.
Piggy's exist in this world,a world not of paper fiction or projected film the one your walking in and sitting at your computer in.
Here and now.
Maybe you know a Piggy.....don't let dark hearts crush him/her.
Monday, 28 July 2008
I can't praise William Golding enough for the masterpiece that is Lord of The Flies,forcing us to observe the savagery that growls under the thinnest of skins.