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Morgan Gillespie
Mr. Plinske
English II Hon- P. 7
28 October 2016
Piggys Misfortune
Survival is something we dont usually think about in everyday life; normally, it just
comes naturally. In William Goldings novel, Lord
of the Flies, survival does not come that easy
and the group of British boys have to work to climb Abraham Maslows Hierarchy of Needs.
Maslow states that people are motivated to achieve certain needs, and some needs take
precedence over others (Mcleod). He uses a pyramid shape to help explain what he means; he
has Physiological needs at the bottom and Self-Actualization at the top. In order to move your
way up the pyramid you must first attain the level below it. One boy in particular has a very
hard time climbing the pyramid. Piggy is stuck at the second level and fails to reach the third
level, Belongingness needs. This level includes friendship, trust, acceptance, and belonging to a
group (Mcleod). Piggy is not able to attain this level because of Jacks actions, Ralphs actions
and his own actions.
Since the beginning of the book, Jack was never fond of Piggy and Piggy was never
fond of Jack. Jack would constantly downgrade Piggy by calling him Fatty and saying things
like, We dont want you (Golding 24) and You shut up! (Golding 52). At one point, Jack
even stuck his fist into Piggys stomach (Golding 71), punching him in front of everyone and
showing his power. At first glance these words and actions just look like they are meant to hurt
Piggy, but they end up damaging him in ways you wouldnt think. The result of Jacks actions

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and words mean that Piggy is not able to reach the third level on the pyramid. Since most of the
kids look up to Jack, they in return exclude and disrespect Piggy. This means that Piggy does
not gain acceptance with anyone thus he does not reach Maslows third level, Belongingness
needs.
Now despite the fact that Ralph treats Piggy better towards the end of the book, they too
had a rocky start. At the very beginning, even Ralph made fun of Piggys name repeating it over
and over again in a childish manner. He would say things like, Sucks to your ass-mar!
(Golding 13) and Oh, shut up (Golding 65). Now although Ralph changes his attitude toward
Piggy, he cannot undo the damage he had originally created. Ralph is chief and like Jack, has a
leadership role which affects Piggy. The kids follow Ralphs lead, and in turn ignore Piggy and
leave him out. Ralph is yet another reason why Piggy does not reach Belongingness needs.
Even though Jack and Ralph prevent Piggy from advancing to the third level, he restricts
himself at times too. The outcome of his looks and actions play a part in stalling his ability to
move on to the next level. Generally speaking, he is not like the other boys. Piggy is smarter,
and comprehends more than all of them combined. He does not play or fool around like the
other boys and understands the surreality of the situation. At one point even Golding states that,
Piggy [is] an outsider, not only by accent, which [does] not matter, but by fat and ass-mar, and
specs, and a certain disinclination for manual labor (Golding 65). So although Jack and Ralph
hinder Piggys availability to advance, he does so too. The outcome of Piggy just being himself
is enough to prevent him from reaching Belongingness needs.
All and all, we cannot throw the blame onto any one person for Piggys misfortune. All
three of these characters had a part to play when it comes to interfering with Piggys ability to

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reach Maslows third level. Both Ralph and Jack have leadership roles and show by example
that it is okay to leave Piggy out. Poor Piggy does nothing wrong, his genuine self is enough
to show that he does not belong with the group of boys. Seeing that Piggy is not part of the
group proves that he does not reach the third level, Belongingness needs.

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Works Cited
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin, 2016. Print.
Mcleod, Saul. "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs." Simply Psychology, 2007,
http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html. Web. 05 Nov. 2016.