Lord of the Flies

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The symbols in the book "Lord of the flies" all reinforce the theme of the novel. All of the characters themselves were very symbolic. Ralph is a symbol of civilization, he is always the one who attempts to organize and accomplish things in order to better the group, like the fire and the building of shelters. Jack, on the other hand, is a symbol of anarchy. The struggle between Ralph and Jack is symbolic of the struggle between the forces of civilization and anarchy, or the struggle between moral conscience and the heart of darkness. The central symbol itself is the "Lord of the Flies," which implies destruction, decay, demoralization, hysteria, and panic, which were all seen throughout the book, and fits well with the novel's themes. In "Lord of the Flies", Golding was trying to capture three main different ideals by symbolizing what Ralph, Jack and Lord of the Flies all stand for.

Ralph represents law, order, organized society and moral integrity. The quote, "Him with the shell. Ralph! Ralph! Let him be chief with the trumpet-thing" (PG.22), represents the democratic system on the island. Throughout the novel Ralph is constantly making commonsense rules for the boys to follow. As chief, he knows right from wrong. At the end of the novel he too realizes that man is not a kind creature by nature. "-after all we aren't savages really and being rescued isn't a game-" (PG.170). Anarchy finally hunts down society, but Golding does not let us know which side would win without intervention.

Jack, in contrast, takes on and exemplifies the transition to savagery through out the course of the book as the evil inside him is set free. Jack at first joins Ralph and enjoys his company, "I agree with Ralph. We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages. We're English, and the English are best at everything" (PG. 42). However, Jack falls deeper and deeper into his savage ways as his killing of one pig, and his focus on the hunt turns to bloodlust....
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