In the novel, Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, the pig is a recurring symbol that is constantly weaved throughout the story. The pig holds various symbolic meanings in the progression of the story. Each time there is a pig in the storyline, a different, more hidden meaning can be inferred. We see Jack’s character from the beginning to end of the book change, much like his approach to hunting pigs. We see the character of Piggy in parallel with the treatment of the island’s pigs. Finally, the pig head that is atop the spear is a symbol. It is a representation of the devil and the evil savagery that overtakes any sense of civilization. At the beginning of the book, hunting pigs is one of the main sources of meat on the island. When Ralph is voted as the chief, Jack is declared as leader of the hunters. Jack goes off with his choir boys and begins his hunt for pig meat. Unfortunately, Jack is not successful. In fact, he can’t bring himself to kill the pig. “They knew very well why he hadn’t: because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood.” (Golding, 31). This quote shows Jack still has childhood innocence and civility. We also become aware that Jack is apprehensive about killing because of his fear of the blood. Even though the boys need food, Jack can not bring himself to kill the living pig. Jack is still following the rules of a modern civilization, but this eventually changes.Nearing the end of the novel, Jack’s character is very different. So is his approach to hunting. He now craves hunting and decides to have a big feast. The boys come across a mother pig and her babies and slaughter the mother pig. “Then Jack found the throat and the hot, blood spouted all over his hands.” “The boys drew back, Jack stood up, holding out his hands. Look. He giggled and flicked them while the boys laughed at his reeking palms.” (135). A smart, rational boy wouldn’t kill unnecessarily. Instead, Jack hunts and kills based on his impulses. He slits the mother pig’s throat and this time is excited about the spilling of the blood, laughing and encouraging the other boys as well. At the beginning of the story, Jack was afraid of the blood and even the idea of killing. This gory pig hunt shows Jack’s savagery, how he kills for the violence, the show of power and to satisfy his bloodthirst.Just like the transformation of the pig hunt relates to the transformation of Jack’s character, the pig is also symbolic of the character, Piggy. Piggy is perceived as a weak, easy target. He is used for his skill and ingenuity but is treated as less. In fact, he is treated no differently than the pigs that inhabit the island. He is like easy prey. Piggy is often told to shut up and even called names when he tries to speak up, despite the fact that he is obviously the most intelligent and rational boy on the island. “You said you wanted a small fire and you been and built a pile like a hayrick. If I say anything,” cried Piggy with bitter realism, “you say shut up; but if Jack or Maurice or Simon —” (43). He is often dismissed, even when holding the conch: “Who cares what you believe, Fatty!” (90). These quotes are two of the many examples of the boys being mean to Piggy and not caring about his input. This is similar to the boys having a complete disregard for the island pigs (bloated bags of fat), killing them for fun and sport, not for food. Both the pigs and Piggy are abused in the novel. Even though the boys dislike Piggy they need his glasses for building fires. So he gets used for his glasses. The pigs also get used as a way for the boys to show their power through violence, cruelty, and savagery. The mistreatment of the pigs eventually foreshadows Piggy’s unfortunate future.The impaled pig head is another symbol in the novel. It stands in the forest where Simon later stumbles upon it and it starts to talk to him. “‘You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why its no go? Why things are what they are?'” (143). The pig head rotting and decaying is surrounded by flies, hence its name, the lord of the flies. Translated from Hebrew, the lord of the flies means Beezelbub or Satan. The pig head describes that there is no beast haunting the boys, but it is the devil inside the boys themselves that is being revealed. As the pig head “speaks” to Simon it is confirming Simon’s worst fears, the boys will never return to civil behavior, that savage disorder and evilness will rule the island. The pig head symbolizes the violent intentions that eventually engulf the boys.Pigs are a recurring and meaningful symbol throughout the novel, The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Through the changing pig hunts (from a necessity to a thrill), they symbolize the change in characters like Jack as they become less civil. The pigs are symbolic of Piggy’s character as both are mistreated and tortured. Eventually, the fate of the island pigs even foreshadows this character’s destiny. And finally, the impaled pig head is symbolic of the inherent evilness of the stranded boys that eventually takes control.