Percival is one of the smallest boys in the group. To comfort himself on the island, he repeats his name and address to remember his home. As time passes, Percival grows more hysterical, relying on the others for comfort and support. However, they do not consistently give this to Percival, and the older boys even ignore him. The problem extends beyond Percival, too, because the biguns, in general, are reluctant to help the littluns. Percival cannot handle this negligence, so he crawls into a shelter and remains there for a few days. While hiding, Percival sings, talks, and cries in a manner that amuses the boys and wins him concern from those who give him some essential items to survive.
At the end of the novel, the naval officer who helps rescue the boys asks Percival his name and address. Ironically, despite Percival’s repetition of these details at the beginning of the book, he cannot remember them when they are needed. Percival’s progression from repetition to forgetfulness emphasizes the loss of innocence and humanity in the boys. Percival — along with the others — bear no resemblance to who they were before landing on the island. They are no longer humans with names and homes; they are savages.
The naval officer appears in the final scene of Lord of the Flies, when Ralph encounters him after fleeing from the fire Jack and his cronies started. The naval officer tells Ralph that his ship stopped to investigate the huge clouds of smoke surrounding the island. He does not believe that the boys are serious about killing Ralph. Instead, the naval officer suggests the boys are simply playing a game. His presence on the island diminishes the boys’ savagery.