Piggy – Lord of the Flies: INTP

Guest Post by Andrew, ENTJ

Lord of the Flies, William Golding

Piggy INTP | Lord of the Flies #MBTI #INTP

Introverted Thinking (Ti): Piggy is extremely logical and has his priorities right, but he finds it difficult to communicate his thoughts to others.  As a result, he is sidelined from an overt position of leadership, instead acting as an adviser to Ralph, who greatly appreciates the intelligence of his counsel.  He speaks abstractly with a view towards understanding himself, others, and the world around them; he tries to explain the presence of a “beast” on the island with his knowledge of psychology; his guess as to the nature of the beast is a very good one, but the rest of the boys have no patience for his long-winded explanation.  Faced with the realization of Simon’s murder, Piggy tries to find a scientific, logical explanation for his part in that dark episode; while the Te-using Ralph sees it for what it is and owns up to the deed, Piggy dances around the issue, refusing to accept responsibility for his actions and urging Ralph to do the same.

Piggy INTP | Lord of the Flies #MBTI #INTP

Extroverted Intuition (Ne): Piggy thrives on ideas.  It was he who thought of using a conch shell to summon any survivors of the plane crash; this object later proves vital, not only to account for survivors, but to organize the society that the boys create.  However, not all of his ideas are so workable or applicable; when a dead parachutist lands on the island (and gets mistaken for the mythical “beast” that the boys fear so much), Piggy contends that the boys should not leave the beach where they have made their homes; in practice, this plan would have separated the boys from their food supply.  Piggy is optimistic about the promise of scientific and technological advancement; he confidently states that humans would walk on Mars in the near future.

Piggy INTP | Lord of the Flies #MBTI #INTP

Introverted Sensing (Si): Piggy brings up his past more than any of the other boys do, often trying unsuccessfully to quote his aunt as a source of authority and wisdom.  More than anyone else, he is concerned about the reaction that any adult who could possibly rescue the boys would think about what their island society had become.  Piggy remembers important things very well; although Ralph eventually forgets exactly why they were building and tending a fire, Piggy still remembers that it was a tool to bring about the boys’ rescue.  Piggy clings to the conch shell, and the law and order it was supposed to bring, long after the other boys have abandoned it; he literally holds on to the conch until his death.  Even his unfortunate nickname is a product of his past which he unwittingly introduces into his life on the island.

Piggy INTP | Lord of the Flies #MBTI #INTP

Extroverted Feeling (Fe): Piggy has a great, unfulfilled need to be accepted by others.  He hates his derogatory nickname, but once the other boys start calling him “Piggy,” he never actually makes an effort to be known as anything else.  When all the other boys on the island are taking part in an animalistic war dance, Piggy follows suit, even with his limited physical ability.  Piggy can consider the well-being of everyone on the island when stating his views or giving advice; when the boys originally build a fire, Piggy chides them for inadequately containing the blaze, endangering the lives of the smallest members of the group.

Note: Piggy is sometimes typed as ISTJ, owing to his blunt, pragmatic statements (allegedly Te) and his devotion to returning all the boys to their civilized origins (Si).  However, Piggy looks to the future (spaceflight, a technology which had not yet been perfected at the time the book was written) as well as to the past for sources of inspiration, so his Ne is most likely not his inferior function.  The argument for Piggy as a Te-user does not hold water; he is useless as an organizer, he can barely hold the attention of the group when holding the conch (signifying that it is his turn to speak), and his main influence on the group is by having access to Ralph’s ear.  Piggy’s focus on maintaining the fire, as well as law and order, is also mistaken for Ni (leading to Piggy being mistyped as INTJ); however, when Ralph first suggests building a signal fire for the long-term goal of a rescue, Piggy is focusing on the more immediate need for shelter.  It is only after the fire and the rules of civil discourse become precedent that Piggy seeks to maintain them (Si instead of Ni).


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