Main Characters: Followers
If you’re having difficulty keeping track of Piggy or other characters in Lord of the Flies, refresh your memory with this brief summary.
Piggy – in Lord of the Flies, Piggy represents civilization. He tries to figure things out logically and scientifically. He wants more than anybody else to be rescued. His physical ailments–asthma, poor eyesight, and obesity–make him the least suitable of all the characters in Lord of the Flies to survive on the island. From the beginning of the adventure, Piggy is an object of derision and scorn from all the boys, especially Jack. As the novel progresses, he becomes a trusted advisor to Ralph. His glasses are valuable for starting fire and become an important possession after the tribe splits.
Samneric – Samneric are actually two boys, twins. Other than Piggy and the littluns, they are the only boys that stay with Ralph. The twins let the fire go out when the boat passes in chapter 4 and were the first to report the sighting of “the beast” in chapter 6. Their presence serves as comic relief–beating each other up in the dark during the hunters’ raid in chapter 10, for example. In chapter 11, they are taken by Jack’s tribe, tied up, and possibly tortured. Even though they sympathize with Ralph, they are coerced into giving away his location during the final hunt.
Ralph – Elected chief soon after the boys’ plane crashes on the island, Ralph struggles to maintain order. He understands things the other boys do not: the need to keep the rescue fire going, the necessity of building huts, and the need for work. Ralph tires of having to think like an adult and the other boys rebel. Ralph senses himself, at times, falling into the same savagery as the others. By the end, Ralph stands alone as his friend Piggy is murdered and the twins are captured.
Jack Merridew – Jack is the militant choir leader turned savage hunter. He is angry about losing the election to Ralph and never being able to unseat him “legally.” Jack turns savage, living only for the hunt. He cares little about being rescued. He eventually leads off most of the tribe because of his ability to provide meat. After becoming the de facto chief, Jack rules without mercy. He and his hunters are responsible for Simon and Piggy’s death.
Simon – The strangest of the boys, Simon is extremely shy and unable to communicate the truth about the island, the beast, and human nature. He is kind. He picks fruit for the littluns and gives Piggy meat. He enjoys wandering off by himself. In chapter 7, he goes to find out the truth about the beast. He sees a pig’s head on a stick that Jack had left for the beast and hallucinates (probably brought on by dehydration) that the pig’s head is talking to him. Simon awakes and discovers the beast is actually a dead parachutist and resolves to inform the others. As he wanders out of the jungle, the other boys, acting out the pig hunt, surround him and kill him.
Roger – The antithesis of Simon, Roger is pure evil, a bully who quickly loses his sense of right and wrong. He becomes Jack’s assistant after the tribe splits. He apparently is in charge of torture and punishment. His last duty is to sharpen a stick at both ends, to be used on Ralph after he is hunted down.
Maurice – a hunter who sides with Jack.
Percival – a littlun who has a mental breakdown.
Mulberry Littlun – Percival’s brother, killed in chapter two by an out of control fire.
Littluns – a generic name given to the stranded children six-years-old and under.
The Beast – The beast is an imaginary snake that comes out of the forest at night, according to the littluns. He’s a dead parachutist caught in the rocks and trees. He’s the evil that lurks in the human consciousness, according to Simon.
The Lord of the Flies – Appearing only briefly, The Lord of the Flies is a pig’s head on a stick, whose guts attract flies. It is set there by Jack as a sacrifice to the beast. The Lord of the Flies is another name for Beelzebub, the Hebrew term for devil. Simon hallucinates that the pig is speaking to him.
Hint: since the title of the novel is Lord of the Flies and the Lord of the Flies appears briefly, there’s a good chance that what it says is the key to understanding the novel.
This post is part of the series: Lord of the Flies Study Guide
- Important Quotes from Lord of the Flies
- Lord of the Flies Chapter Summaries
- Characters in Lord of the Flies
- Symbolism in Lord of the Flies
- Lord of the Flies Allusions
- Review of Important Themes in Lord of the Flies