Pre-AP English II
24 June 2012
Throughout literature, certain things are considered to mean something beyond themselves; these symbols make themselves ever present in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. While some symbols appear in an obvious fashion (the glasses, the pig’s head) others like to hide from the reader (the fire, the conch shell). From Piggy’s introduction into the novel, they symbolize of his glasses seemed apparent. The glasses symbolize a voice of reason and logic within the boys, and once Jack took Piggy’s glasses from him and started the fire all the logic dissipated. The shell symbolizes an organized civilization within the boys. As they search for someone a leader, they notice Ralph – one of the oldest in the bunch – holding the conch shell. Since they dubbed Ralph leader “They obeyed the summons of the conch, partly because Ralph blew it, and he was big enough to be a link with the adult world of authority” (Golding 50). The fire symbolizes both the hope of rescue and an innate destructive change and reentrance into a primitive state within the human mind. The pig’s head symbolizes the aggression which Jack harbors toward everything as it becomes more and more dominant throughout the novel, but the pig’s head also becomes a symbol of the savagery and bloodlust of the boys near the end of the novel.
Of Golding’s characters, the ones from Lord of the Flies are some of the most well known. Throughout the novel each of the lead characters acts as one of the key facets that make humans human. Arguably the characters representing the most visible aspects of the human mind are Ralph and Jack because of their intensive struggle. Ralph and Jack represent the struggle between civilization and savagery – while on the psychological field they take the form of man’s ego and id (Ralph being the ego and Jack as the id). To spite Ralph more than any other reason, Jack says, “Who’ll join my tribe and have fun?”...
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