Piggy and Ralph’s friendship in Lord of the Flies by William Golding

From the beginning to the end the relationship between Piggy and Ralph can be described as a shift, in the first few chapters Piggy is viewed as an outsider and Ralph being the total opposite is loved by everyone. Piggy is constantly humiliated until the realization dawns upon Ralph of how valuable and crucial Piggy’s thinking is for the group and being rescued. Lord of the Flies enables two completely opposite characters to come together and form a friendship through the versatile glom of time spent on the island trying to survive. Although Ralph and Piggy are portrayed differently, their understanding, trust and mutual respect prove they are true friends.

True friendship is rooted in mutual respect, Ralph and Piggy share this through Ralph’s acceptance of Piggy’s wise-thinking. He was able to recognize that Piggy is able to think wisely, here, “ as he faced the chief’s seat, I can’t think not like Piggy” (Golding 83). Ralph was able to recognize that even though Piggy isn’t good at leading the boys, his wise thinking has a lot of impact for the group. As Piggy was calling out the hunters for being a pack of face painted Indians he made sure to emphasize on being sensible like Ralph, he says,  “ I thought they wanted the conch. I know they didn’t come for the conch, they came for something else” (Golding 84), Piggy is able to predict what the hunters came for-being his specs to light the fire. Piggy is able to understand that the hunters under Jack’s leadership will end in chaos, here, “Do alright on our own is them that haven’t no common sense that make trouble on this island” (Golding 132), Jack only cares about one thing and that’s hunting. Piggy is able to understand that creating a fire is the only way to be rescued. Piggy’s wise thinking is able to create a bond with Ralph, and Ralph accepting this is able to have mutual respect for Piggy.

True friends trust each other, Piggy is able to show his faith and trust towards Ralph when all odds appear to be going in the opposite direction. Piggy gives Ralph his specs, and waited patiently to get his sight back, to illustrate,  “Piggy handed Ralph his glasses and waited to receive his sight back” (Golding 232),  Piggy only trusts Ralph to light the fire and waits with certainty of receiving his specs back. After Piggy’s specs are stolen he feels insecure, and is faithful that Ralph will help him, such as, “I just take the conch to say this. I can’t see no more and I got to get my glasses back. Awful things has been done on this island. I voted for you for chief. He’s the only one who ever got anything done. So now you speak, Ralph, and tell us what. Or else –” (Golding 244), he trusts in Ralph’s authority as chief. Ralph saw smoke coming from a ship and called it out, however Piggy was unable to see it and naturally asks Ralph where it’s coming from, for instance,  “I can’t see no smoke! I can’t see no smoke Ralph–where is it? (Golding 92), this shows the trust and faithfulness Piggy has in Ralph. Piggy’s trust in Ralph is shown by his faithfulness in Ralph’s roll as the leader. He believes in Ralph’s plan for being rescued and stands by it as well as understanding that Jack and the hunters are what bring chaos to the group.

The understanding that links friendship is one that Ralph and Piggy are able to achieve through the good and bad times.  After Jack hits Piggy’s head and his specs brake, Ralph gets mad for letting this happen and is able to understand Piggy’s frustration, here, “Unwillingly Ralph felt his lips twitch; he was angry for giving way” (Golding 76), Ralph was able to understand the frustration Piggy is feeling and is angry at himself for allowing Jack to do such a thing. Piggy shows an understanding of the rules Ralph made when the boys wouldn’t let him speak,  he is able to re-enforce the rule of when someone has the conch the rest have to listen, for instance,  “I got the conch said Piggy, Ralph they ought to shut up, oughtn’t”? (Golding 89), Piggy understands Ralph’s rule of whoever holds the conch can’t be interrupted, in doing this he was able to speak when the other boys wouldn’t want to listen.

Ralph is able to see he depended on Piggy for his input and advice as well as grasping an understanding of the darkness of man’s heart, for example “Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy (Golding 290).” Piggy’s death brought the demise of innocence, Ralph was able to understand the darkness of man’s heart as well as being grateful for his wise friend Piggy. Ralph considers Piggy a friend and is able to understand how he felt in all the terrible situations he was faced with.

Although Ralph and Piggy are portrayed differently, their understanding, trust and mutual respect prove they are true friends. A true friend thinks of you when others are thinking of themselves. Ralph has been able to see through the veil of indifference Piggy was classified in, and has understood the value Piggy has brought, from the faith in humanity to his wise thinking and the use of his specs as a medium for fire, Piggy’s demise brought the death of innocence while Ralph wept for what he considered a friend and partner.