Lord of the Flies

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  • Topic: English-language films, Seashell, Symbols
  • Pages : 11 (4837 words )
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  • Published : September 4, 2011
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There are many symbols in William Golding’s Lord Of The Flies. Two of the most important symbols in the book are the conch shell and the sow’s head. Each symbol holds a different power over the boys, as well as an opposite power. The two symbols also have a different boy who introduced them to the story. Like the symbols, the two boys are both complete opposites.   

    I think that the conch shell represents order and civilization. Ralph is the boy who introduced the conch to the rest of the boys, and he too is a symbol inthe book. He represents the same thing as the conch. The power the conch holds over the boys is a power the forces them to stay civilized. The sow’s head is a symbol of savagery and destruction. The boy who introduced the idea of the sow’s head on a stick was Jack, and Jack too is a symbol in the book. Jack stands for savagery. You know right from the start of the novel the Jack is not like the other boys, and that he’s a savage because of what he tells Ralph that he wants him and his choir to be. When asked what he would like to do on the island he replies “Hunters” (Golding, page 19.) The powerthe sow’s head holds over the boys is more of fear than a power. The sow’s head is a constant reminder that they are living like savages. I think it also reminds the boys that if they can kill a pig then they would probably kill one of the others.

    To Simon the sow’s head holds a completely different power over him. To Simon the sow’s head represents craziness. Simon is different than the other boys, so that might by why the sow’s head is different for him. When the other boys are fighting, Simon goes to his private glade in the forest. The thing that gave me the idea that the sow’s head represents something different to Simon is because Simon has a conversation with it. Also because the conversation sounds like something that would’ve came out of Simon’s head, because Simon never really believed in a beast on the island and the sow’s head or The Lord Of The Flies says to Simon “Fancy thinking the beast was something you could hunt and kill” (Golding, page157.)

I think by saying that The Lord Of The Flies means, that the real beasts on the island are what the boys have turned into, killing obsessed savages!

    To all of the boys the conch is a symbol of order. The conch has the power to hold silence and civilization over the boys, kind of like how a judge’s gavel holds silence over his/her court. The conch keeps the boys together, helps them from becoming completely uncivilized and savages. The book proves this because once the conch shatters, so do all the rules. From the beginning of the book you know the conch is going to hold order over the boys because first of all the way they describe the sound of it “A deep harsh note boomed under the palms..”(Golding, page 12.) Also because after is it blown all the boys gather. I think that another reason why you know right from the start that the conch is going to be good is because Ralph. Ralph introduced the conch and he stands for civilization as well. It is Ralph who says, “Lets have a vote” (Golding, page 12,) and it is Ralph that said, “We need shelter” (Golding, page 18,) with ideas and common sense like that, only good can come out of.

    When the sow’s head is introduced to the boys they are in shock. The sow’s head holds the power to scare the boys or freak them out a bit. The sow’s head is put on a stick to sacrifice to the “beast”. I think that Jack’s idea when he did this was to make sure the beast doesn’t harm Jack and his tribe and go for Ralph. I think the sow’s head makes you think of something every time you look at it, death or guilt. Jack is a symbol of savagery, which is just like the symbol meaning of the sow’s head. It is savagery that destroys civilization on the island when the conch break to pieces, so really it is the symbols that are fighting, not just Jack and Ralph and in the end the book proves that neither will win...
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