Lord of the Flies is a thrilling exploration of human nature. By the sad story, William Golding, the author, tells us “the end of innocence of (human), the darkness of man’s heart” (the last page).He implies that innate evil is part of humanity and savage instinct is nearer to the human psyche than the instinct for civilization. In short, the theme might be interpreted as: civilization vs. savagery and the instinct of evil vs. the instinct of good. ﹒Symbols
Complex and abstract as the theme is, Golding vividly conveys his concerns by making heavy use of symbolic characters and objects. Labeled as an allegorical novel, Lord of the flies has many symbols to decode. Here I would like to discuss three of them: conch shell, Jack’s knife, and the signal fire.
A. Conch Shell
Ralph is the main protagonist who is a natural leader. He has strong moral principles, and a heart of innocence. In many occasions, Ralph always has a conch with pure white color in his hands, because it is a symbol of authority, law and order, rules and democracy. The conch is first used as an instrument for calling assemblies, then it symbolizes the leadership and as well as the right to speak. As Ralph says in chapter 2 “I will give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking.” Ralph and his conch both represent the goodness of human nature, such as love, care, compassion and reverence for the rules of civilization.
As a combined symbol, Ralph and his conch contribute in-depth concepts of the theme that all men need civilization. For example, when Ralph and Piggy first have discovered the conch, it is used to summon all the scattered boys and assemble them on the beach. In the assemblies, Ralph is elected as the leader of the group and so he assigns everyone a job and with all the boys’ efforts, they build a small society. And every society needs an authority figure, which in this...