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Lord of the Flies, The - Piggy's Glasses
Well, basically, Piggy is near-sighted, and his
glasses are used to light the fire. This is wrong,
as if he was near-sighted, the lenses would be
concave not convex, and would scatter the
sunlight not concentrate it on a point.
Visual Proof! See the examples below and post your pictures too.
Illustration of how the two types of glasses work -- note how glasses for near sight diverge the rays
Illustration of how the two types of glasses work -- note how glasses for near sight diverge the rays
Rated 4.7/10 (647 ratings) Your opinion?
Special Requirements: Just a copy of Lord of the Flies
Contributed By: Duncan Cross on 12-15-1999 and Reviewed By: Webmaster
If something isn't right, please Correct this Slip-Up

stacie_yates writes:
Um, they wouldn't be concave on both sides, would they? Generally lenses curve out in front of the frames. I suppose it would be possible to concentrate the sunbeam enough by holding the glasses with the earpieces toward the tinder. I've never tried to start a fire with glasses, but I'm guessing it would be pretty tough whether you were near or far-sighted.
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dan@mizen writes:
URBAN MYTH. The main point is that concave or convex lenses (stacie i think the lenses in specs are more often () or )( - tho i may be wrong) still direct light rays onto the retina and therefore the focal length of any glasses is similar to the distance between the lens and the back of the eye. hence any specs could be used, with patience and strong enough rays, to light a fire.
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Allen writes:
I am near sighted myself and my glasses do not start fires! I have tried many times but noithing happens
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Eboreg Onxre writes:
dan@mizen is mistaken. Glasses *do* focus the image on the user's retinae, but only in conjunction with the user's own natural lenses -- they don't do it by themselves. In short-sight, the sufferer's own lenses bring rays to a focus in front of the retina, and this thus needs to be corrected by *diverging* the rays so that they converge at the retina -- this requires a lens of *negative* focal length, and such a lens cannot bring light to a focus without the use of another lens.
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aj writes:
If glasses could cause that much heat, why have we never heard about peoples eyes being burned out?
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mrt666 writes:
Glasses need to be very very very strong for this to happen. A lot of rays has to be concentrated into one point for a fire to start.
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UB writes:
Duncan is right. Glasses for short sighted do have a focus but it is on the same side of the lens as the source of light (a virtual focus). As far as I know, the shape of the lenses for short sighted and long sighted is similar (I am short sighted). Both have one concave and one convex side. Both look something like that )) [light coming from the right], but the degree of curvature is different for both sides. Lenses for short sighted are thin in the middle and get thicker towards the edge (the degree of curvature is higher on the back side). For long sighted it is the other way round. The diffraction of a lens is independent from which side the light enters the lens, so it doesn't help to turn the glasses around. Nevertheless, LotF is still a great novel.
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Minstrel writes:
I work at an eyeglass distributor - and, yes, lenses do curve out, but they are made conCAVE by making the outer edge of the frame thick and gradually making them thinner to the middle - so they DO make a dome, but that is simply curvature - they can still be concave.
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silver girl writes:
When I was about 6 years old (I had/have very bad eyesight) I was diagnosed with nearsightedness. At about the age of 9, I heard that you could start fires with your glasses lenses, so I decided to try it. I burnt a couple of leaves, and a couple of times, I started a small fire on the leaf, but I decided to leave it at that. You can start fires with nearsighted glasses, just get the sun in the lenses at the right angle. Takes patience, but it's a great survival tool.
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Laplace writes:
I am near-sighted. Now when I was younger and my eyesight wasn't as bad, I was able to start small fires with my glasses (yes, the pyromaniac that resides in all of us was let loose). For the record, I'm pretty sure I would have held them concave up. Anyway, as my eyesight got worse and my glasses got thicker, I found I was unable to get the sun's rays through, and the glasses instead cast a shadow. As I recall, Piggy was practically blind without his glasses, so I am assuming that his specs would have been pretty thick, and so would have had a similar effect to mine - casting a shadow rather than being able to focus rays. So there's an argument supporting it being a slip up.
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Lucky writes:
Wait, I thought this was lord of the flies, not lord of the piggies. I'm confused, so confused!
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Rose writes:
I do believe they're talking about Piggy (a character) in the book The Lord of the Flies. He supposedly represents the scientific side of people and has been wearing his glasses (specs, he calls them) since he was three. Jack and Ralph uses his glasses to create a signal fire in an attempt to get rescued. More on this topic, I'm not very experienced on making fire with glasses (yes, I am near-sighted, but not too much). Although I've tried several times out in the sunlight, I've never succeeded.(I gave up after my friends thought I was a card short of a full deck.) Also, my thought on people not getting their eyes burned is the angle of the glasses. You don't normally wear your glasses slanted upwards in such a way to catch the sunlight and pinpoint it somewhere, do you? (Well, I don't.) Even if you look up and the glasses come into the correct angle, I'm assuming you'd have to hold that position which might not be too comfortable. (Besides, looking at the sun is bad for you.) Again, these are just my speculations so please correct me if I'm wrong.
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