Lord of the Flies - Symbolism

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In the book, Lord of the Flies, the author frequently uses symbolism. Symbolism-n 1: the art or practice of using symbols esp. by investing things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible or intangible by means of visible or sensuous representations. In other words, discussing or explaining a broader, more general topic by linking it symbolically with a specific event in a literary work. The superb use of symbolism in the book is one of the contributing factors to the profoundness of Lord of the Flies. This book is peppered with examples of symbolism, but the ones that stand out the most are: The breaking of Piggy's spectacles, the representation of the littluns and Jack as the "people" and the government, and Simon's conversation with the Lord of the Flies.

The breaking of Piggy's spectacles meant much more than the mere marring of a pair of glasses. ‘Ralph made a step forward and Jack smacked Piggy's head. Piggy's glasses flew off and tinkled on the rocks.' "One side's broken." This is somewhat of a turning point in the book. The breaking of Piggy's spectacles symbolizes a mark at which rational influence decays as the story progresses. To better understand this, you must first know that Piggy himself is symbolized a grown-up figure, with intelligence and common sense. Looking back on the story, one can begin to realize how true this is. After Piggy's glasses are broken, the fabric that holds the island society together begins to dissolve and everything goes awry. This discussion is perhaps the single most important part of the story, and may also be the most difficult part to understand.

Another subtle, but important symbolization is the representation of the littluns as the "people", and Jack as the government. By using this symbolization, the author tries to express what he feels is wrong with modern government. This symbolization is shown in the book by a statement made by Jack. "What about the littluns?" "Sucks to the...
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