In chapter five, page 91 during an assembly the conversation takes a turn to focus on ghosts and snatches the conch saying he didn’t vote for no ghosts. With a pause he spoke out quoting “What are we? Humans? or animals? or savages? Whats grown ups going to think? Going off hunting pigs, letting fires out, and now!” before being interrupted by Jack who continues to call Piggy a fat slug which breaks into intense argument. This quote has a lot of meaning but the main concern is whether they are humans, animals or savages. In our eyes, they are humans with savage like behavioral tendencies. Overtime that behavior starts to bend and become animal like, especially in the environment they were left unexpectedly.
In 1960 an experiment called the BoBo doll experiment occurred. In this experiment children and adults of both genders were put in a room with a BoBo doll to study their attitudes after a short amount of time when left alone with the doll. A BoBo doll is a toy that gets up repeatedly even after being knocked back down. In the video linked above shows that both the boys and girls started showing random signs of aggression towards the doll, such as kicking down the doll repeatedly, throwing it, punching it and even hitting the doll with a mallet. The experiment proved animal like actions, some could even say “savage” like behavior. This reference somewhat answers the question that piggy asks in this chapter, are they humans, animals or savages?
Another theory covering the idea of human being animals is Evolution. Darwin’s theory of evolution. Darwin’s theory of evolution has two main points.”All life on Earth is connected and related to each other,” and this diversity of life is a product of “modifications of populations by natural selection, where some traits were favored in and environment over others,” was a quote stated by Brian Richmond. A brief idea of natural selection is a process where organisms adapt and survive in the environment where only few actually make it. This theory is basically that humans started out as an animal, or a primate. Primates are the group that contains all the species commonly related to monkeys, apes, and even include humans, so humans are basically animals in the eyes of Darwin.
In the book, you can see a change in personalities and traits that Piggy could be pointing at when he mentions animals and savages. Earlier in the book Jack and his choir can be seen hunting constantly. When Ralph and Simon are building shelters, Jack is hunting exclaiming that they need meat which turns to an argument. Jacks choir is also in charge of maintaining the fire and watching it which is pretty difficult when Jack has the priority of catching pigs for meat which covers the second half of Piggy’s quote in this chapter. The children show a lot of animal like behavior but being stuck on an island with nothing but nature and each other, there is not a lot of options on what they can do to survive.