Lord of the Flies Literary Analysis

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Symbolism is a very important factor in many books. The use of symbolism in William Golding’s novel The Lord of the Flies is the most essential aspect to the function of the story. At first glance you may not think the symbols are very important, but with some in-depth thought you can see how it is necessary to explain the microcosm of an island.

The conch shell is the opening symbol in the novel and lasts roughly to the very end of the story. The conch is found by Ralph and Piggy, which they use to summon the boys together after the crash. “We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They’ll come when they hear us—" (Golding 16). The conch represents civilization and order on the island. In the start the conch is given to a boy to hold when he has the power to speak among the boys. “I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking” (Golding 33). So not only is the conch a symbol but also an actual craft of political authenticity and democratic power. As the boys descend into savagery the conch loses its authority and control among the boys causing the life of the boys to go from order to chaos in a matter of short time. The conch’s power is at its final point when it is destroyed by Roger when he pushes a boulder down castle rock colliding into Piggy who at the time was holding the conch. Piggy is murdered while the conch is smashed into smithereens. This gruesome event signifies the termination of the civilized instinct of almost all of the boys on the island.

Piggy is the most intellectual and rational person out of all the boys and his glasses represent the power of science and intellectual endeavor in society. The glasses are used to start a signal fire on the top of the mountain by using the means of the sun. “Jack pointed suddenly. His Specs—use them as burning glasses!” (Golding 40). Jack uses piggy’s specs to light the fire demonstrating his intellect and science of being able produce fire, without the power...
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