An Analysis of Piggy and Jack's Temperament in Lord of the Flies

An Analysis of Piggy and Jack's Temperament in Lord of the Flies

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An Analysis of Piggy and Jack's Temperament in Lord of the Flies
In the novel, Lord of the Flies, William Golding created an island, which represented a microcosm of the world. The characters in the book had unique and different personalities to simulate the real world. Every kid on the island was different. Each character fell under the artisan, rational, idealist, or guardian temperament. The characters' personalities helped determine their temperament. Two specific characters were Jack and Piggy. Piggy exhibits aspects of the artisan temperament, whereas Jack exhibits aspects of the rational temperament.
Piggy was the one boy in the novel who has all the knowledge. Despite his asthma and obese problem, Piggy never failed to contribute his cerebral and intelligent ideas. He came up with all the ideas on how to survive and tried to keep the group organized and civilized. The glasses of Piggy symbolized his knowledge and smartness.
Out of the four temperaments, Piggy would be an artisan.

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Artisans require creativity and they must be informative. They don't like giving orders but would rather inform on the groups current conditions. They suggest useful information to groups and try to make the best of things (Keirsey n.pag). In the beginning of the novel, Piggy suggested that Ralph blow into the conch because he couldn't blow it himself due to his asthma. "We can use this to call the others. We could have a meeting"(Golding 16). Piggy had already shown his knowledge by instructing Ralph to blow into the conch at a certain spot to make a trumpet noise.
Moreover, Piggy represented Ralph's advisor. Back in the medieval times, kings had advisors to help aid them on how to rule. Piggy helped Ralph keep the group of boys under control. Piggy told the boys that they had better shape up because they would be stuck on the island for awhile(Golding).
Another one of Piggy's discerning ideas was to build a sundial. He suggested sticking a stick in the sand and watching the sun's shadow to tell time (Golding 64). But, Ralph, of course, didn't take Piggy seriously like most of the kids. About 90% of Piggy's ideas were resented and ignored. Piggy told the group that there was no beast. He didn't agree with the fear and he said that there is nothing in the forest. It was Piggy who told the kids to stop acting childish and act like adults. At this statement, the kids on the island mocked him and the little'uns disregarded his fact.
When the "beast" terrorized the mountain, there was no more fire. It was Piggy's idea to build a new signal fire on the beach. Without Piggy, the second fire would not have been thought of. Jack and his hunters might not have been able to cook either.
Another similarity Piggy has with the artisan temperament is his ability to be articulate and stir up emotion. When the boys got out of control, Piggy would reprimand them. For example, he always yelled at the kids for speaking when they didn't have the conch. Piggy was like the philosopher, Socrates. He was fat, ugly, and a bore with a "disinclination for manual labor." People found Socrates boring just as the kids thought Piggy was boring (Spitz 21-33). Piggy eventually lost more respect from the kids. He was killed by Roger soon after. After Piggy's death, everything got out of control. The brain of the group was gone. No one was left to keep order.
Piggy's major difference with the artisans is his inability to be artistic and to be skilled with tools. Piggy was lazy, in fact, lazy and didn't like a lot of manual labor. He didn't make or use any tools in the novel. Also, Piggy didn't really help build the shelters when everyone was building them. Piggy focused more on the group's welfare rather than the arts or tools.
Jack Merridew was a complete opposite of Piggy because he was a rational. Rationals must be creative and have the ability to lead and take over when necessary. They adopt ideas only when useful and can also invent and make tools. Rationals prefer they're values and interests. When others demonstrate their inability to lead anymore, rationals somehow find themselves in charge. They are always on the lookout for new activities or projects (Keirsey n. pag).
Jack's first similarity with the rational temperament was being able to lead the group when he needed to. He took over when Ralph started losing control of the boys. Jack, at first, was okay with being in second command of his hunters. He didn't really care about Ralph being chief as long as he had his hunters. As time progressed, Jack became obsessed with killing pigs more than any other necessity. The first power struggle was when Jack and his hunters didn't help build the shelters. The next conflict was when Jack went hunting and let the fire die. He had let the fire go out a few times during the novel, which had angered Ralph. Ralph cared most about the fire and kept trying to keep it alive, but Jack's hunt was favored more by the majority of the boys. Jack brushed off the fire subject by saying he had got meat for the group. He said that Ralph didn't keep his promise of getting food while Jack kept his promise of getting meat. He insisted that Ralph was a bad leader and he would not be in his tribe anymore. Jack thought that Ralph was unable to lead anymore so he ran off to make his own tribe. The link between Jack and Ralph had "snapped and fastened elsewhere" after Jack stole Piggy's glasses (Rosenfield pp93-101). Although Jack used evil to steal Piggy's glasses, he did accomplish what he wanted to. He was a leader who actually helped his tribe. After Jack went off to make his own tribe, he and his clan made spears. Rationals have the ability to invent whatever is around them.
Jack's second similarity with rationals was adopting ideas and looking for new activities and projects. He used new activities, like hunting, to change the environment from boring things. Instead of swimming or playing in the sand, Jack led his group in a pig hunting expedition. Jack thought pigs saw him everytime so he changed his look. They painted their faces like savages, to camouflage in the forest. Claire Rosenfield states that Jack changed from a choir leader to being a savage-like person. Jack gives his reason as "It's for hunting. Like in war. You know-dazzle paint. Like things trying to look like something else" (Golding 99). Jack tried to make the stay at the island more fun and enjoyable, but he used bad actions to achieve some things. Jack was not boring and always had adventure in him. In the beginning of the novel, Jack wanted to explore the whole island. He wasn't scared to look around at new places and things.
The major difference between Jack and the rationals was being able to see how the group was doing and informing others. Rational field marshals have less desire to inform others of the group's well being. Jack never informed anything. Instead, he always directed orders. He preferred to take charge and get things done.
Jack had no idea of what the future would be like. All he worried about was hunting and having fun.
Piggy was the artisan who was smart and bright. He knew how to survive and keep order. Jack was the rational who represented evil. According to Thomas Hobbes, the philosopher, man needs government control to stop the evilness within themselves.

Works Cited
"Golding,William." Lord of the Flies. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1954.

Keirsey, David. "The Four Temperaments." 1 Dec. 2005

Rosenfield, Claire. "Men of a smaller growth." Autumn, 1961: 11. Gale Literature
1 Dec. 2005

Spitz, David. "Power and Authority." Spring, 1960: 21-33 Gale Literature 12 Dec. 2005
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