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The Death of Piggy’ in ”Lord of the Flies” by William Golding

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We have read Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954) and also seen the scene “the death of Piggy” in the two film versions directed by Peter Brook (1961) and Harry Hook (1994). The black and white version by Peter Brook is very close to the text since the characters look the same in the film as they are described.

Harry Hooks’ intentions for this film were to make it have a lot of action and to make money from it. Where as Peter Brook is just trying to make a moving image of the text and he doesn’t plan to make it more exciting.

The colour version by Harry Hook is quite different from the text because of how it has been adapted to fit modern life. It has been adapted so much that it isn’t really a moving image of Golding’s novel. It is quite different because of the variations that have been made. Such as how it is in colour and the children are American and not English. Also they swear in this film. Harry Hooks’ intentions for this film were to make it have a lot of action

Differences between films

In Peter Brooks’ version of the film a spear is levered under the rock before the eventual death of piggy. This is important because it is showing that the murder is premeditated and that the children had intentions to kill him. In Harry Hooks’ version, one of the boys pushes the rock. This is wrong because it is showing that Piggys death is not necessarily premeditated and it could have just been an accident what is not as bad as murder. In the text a spear is placed under the rock implying that it was heavy and needed some force to move it.

In the text it says that “Ralph heard the great rock long before he saw it. He was aware of a jolt in the earth that came to him through the soles of his feet, and the braking sound of stones at the top of the cliff. Then the monstrous red thing bounded across the neck and he flung himself flat while the tribe shrieked” This is saying that when the boulder started rolling down the cliff, Ralph jumped on the floor and made no attempt to save piggy. He was looking out for himself and that he didn’t care what happened to Piggy.

In Harry Hooks’ version Ralph Shout’s “no” showing that Ralph cares about what happens to piggy. Even though he doesn’t make an attempt to save him it is still showing that he is making an effort to warn him instead of thinking about himself. This is a significant difference because it is showing that Ralph cares about Piggy in the colour version but not in the text and the black and white version.

Also in the text and the black and white version the tribe shriek when the boulder is released from the hill top, but in the colour version none of the tribe say a word. This shows that they don’t think that killing piggy is very bad.

In the text and the black and white version the group of boys introduced at the beginning is a choir but in Harry Hooks’ version this has been changed to a group of Air Cadets. This is showing that the boys are acting more grown up than in the text.

In Harry Hook’s version it shows that the boys are acting older than they are in the text and black and white versions. Children are generally acting older than they were 50years ago. They swear more than they did before, they drink alcohol, have underage sex and some take drugs. This would not have happened when the text was written or when Peter Brook had directed the film. In the text the worst word that is used is “bloody” but in the colour version a different word is used which is a lot worse.

When piggy was crying he says that he wished that jack was dead in the colour version. In the text and the black and white version is says that piggy is whimpering but not crying. He doesn’t say that he wished Jack was dead. If piggy had said this in the first film it would have shown that he wasn’t so na�ve. Piggy is the sensible one of the whole group and he is the most sensitive so I don’t think he would say that even if he was very angry and upset. This is also showing that the boys are acting older than they should be.

Probably one of the most important differences is how after Piggy gets killed with the rock in the text it says that “Piggy fell forty feet and landed on his back across that square, red rock in the sea. His head opened and stuff came out and turned red. Piggys arms and legs twitched a bit, like a pig’s after it has been killed” this paragraph is saying that after piggy had been hit with the rock he fell off the cliff and landed in the water, not letting the boys see what they had done to piggy. It is also comparing piggy to the pig that they had hunted and killed. In the colour version the rock hits Piggy and he lies on the floor so that all the boys could see what they had done to him. This is a big difference because they can see the body after the death and they can see the blood from his head. On the black and white film and in the text when the rock hits piggy the conch that he is holding smashes into a million pieces. But in the colour film it does not. This is significant because the conch is the symbol of law and order and when it smashes all rules are shattered.


The way the two films have been advertised is also a lot different. Harry hook has advertised his version on the front cover differently to Peter Brook has. On Harry Hooks’ version it has mayhem and flames in the background with Jack and Ralph staring at each other in the front. Jack is holding a spear and you can see some of the tribe in the background also holding spears. Whereas in the black and white front cover has got piggy squinting with a pair of glasses with one of the lenses smashed and also Ralph with long hair squinting at something the camera cannot see. It is very plain compared to the other version since it hasn’t got a wide range of colours. I would prefer to pick the colour version if I had to pick by the front covers. It looks like it is quite boring from the front cover and the colour version looks exciting and that it has lots of action. From the back cover Harry Hooks’ looks the best again because of its use of colours and pictures. The pictures make it look exciting. Unlike Peter Brooks’ version which looks boring and the pictures don’t look exciting.

The information on the back cover of the colour version is very inaccurate compared to the text, seen as “A potential paradise turns into a brutal struggle for survival when a group of juvenile American military school cadets are stranded on a remote tropical island” this is wrong because in the text they don’t actually struggle to survive because they have enough food and clean water to last them a long time. In the text they are British and they are coming back from boarding school when there plane crashes. When it says that they are a group of juvenile American military cadets this is contradicting everything that Golding is trying to show by his novel.

Golding is trying to say that humans can be evil, even children that are have got a good upbringing and that evil can spread. But if the boys are already bad because they are juvenile so you could expect bad things to come of them. He also wants you to think that boys are generally more violent than girls since if the same thing had happened about the girls they will have probably had a few fall outs but they would be more mature and they should of made up in the end, and the girls wouldn’t of killed any of there friends.

Camera Angles

* Close up of piggy whimpering-This is showing that piggy is hurt emotionally because the boys have stolen his glasses and he needs them to see. It makes the audience feel sorry for piggy.

* Close up of Ralph staring, as if he is thinking-Ralph is thinking how to get piggy’s glasses back from the other boys. Grabs audiences attention because it is quiet so they concentrate more to get what is happening, also builds up tension because they want to know how he is going to get the glasses back.

* Close up of piggy saying that he wished Jack was dead-Shows that piggy is angry with Jack. Piggy is meant to be sensitive and doesn’t want to hurt anything, but as he said that he would like Jack to die shows he is really angry.

* Ralph says that he knows that piggy cant see-Ralph understands his troubles and wants to help him. Audience think Ralph is caring because he is helping piggy.

* Ralph and piggy walking across the beach together, camera zooms out and panning.

* Camera looks at Jacks tribe from Ralph’s view. See them above the rocks- Camera has to look up to the tribe showing that they have more power and control.

* Focuses on Jack’s face then on Ralph’s face then the rest of the tribe.

* Ralph and Jack start to fight- doesn’t show anyone getting hit, just show facial expressions and doesn’t show both of the boys together

* Zoom in on piggy-He shocked at Ralph and Jack fighting because it was his entire fault.

* Conch can be heard not seen, close up of piggy saying that he got the conch so everyone has to listen-In the text piggy doesn’t blow the conch, he says that he has got the conch.

* Close up piggy started to speak, rocks are thrown at him-Showing they don’t want to hear what he has to say. In the text they go quiet to see what he has to say.

* Camera moves to three boys, one of the boys who seemed to have dark marks under his eyes put a spear under a rock- the dark under his eyes is symbolising evil because he is going to kill piggy.

* Quick shot of Ralph who looked up-He knows something is going to happen

* Camera looked at the rock, starts to fall-The rock doesn’t seem to drop from a great height where as in the text it is said to drop from a high cliff. The higher that the rock falls from makes it more dramatic and it gives more action if it is slow motion.

* Rock hits piggy, he lies on the floor motionless, conch just falls to the floor and doesn’t break into tiny pieces-If the conch smashed and shattered it would give more effect and depth to how much force the rock had.

* Close up of piggy lying on the floor with blood around his face then shows all the boys looking at him to see what has happened to piggy.

* Shows through piggy’s eyes, all boys crowed round him and everything is silent.

I have decided that Peter Brooks’ version of moving image is the most accurate to the text. This is shown in my media assignment. Harry Hooks’ aim was to make profit out of the text by adding a few changes to make it seem more exciting, but in Fact he is changing Golding’s intentions from what he wanted people to take from his novel.

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