Lord of the Flies Short Essay on Symbolism

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Lord of the Flies Short Essay on Symbolism

By | July 2008
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Lord of the Flies is a novel with a story about self-preservation and survival. In the story, many symbols for subjects related to self-preservation and survival are found. Whether they are characters in the story or seemingly non-significant objects, there will be symbols found in them.

The first and most obvious symbol shown in the story is the conch shell. The conch shell was first used to summon the surviving children of the plane crash. It became what I believed to be a strong symbol of symbolization. The conch shell was also used govern the boys’ meetings by only allowing the boy holding the conch shell the right to speak. The idea was first presented when Ralph said, “And another thing. We can't have everybody talking at once. We'll have to have 'hands up' like at school." This shows how the conch shell is a symbol of democracy and order to the boys. At first everyone thinks that this is the best method to maintain order but soon they find out how quickly the power of the conch is abused by Ralph and Jack. For example, there are signs of the order slowly collapsing when Simon is trying to speak Ralph and Jack try to get him to sit down. " 'Sit down' 'Shut up' 'take the Conch!' 'Sod you' ' Shut up!' "(89) are the phrases that shows the abuse of conch’s power. As the boy’s civilization slowly descends to savagery, the conch shell loses its influence and power. When the conch shell got crushed by the boulder that Roger rolls onto Piggy, it signified the demise of the civilized instinct among almost all the boys on the island.

The fire is the second most important symbol in the story because it shows and symbolizes the humanity and the hope of the stranded boys. The fire is a indicator or path to civilization for the boys. In the early parts of the novel, the fact that the boys maintain the fire is a sign that they want to be rescued and return to society. When the fire was extinguished, it is realized that the boys have lost sight of their desire to be...