Symbolism in Lord of the Flies
In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, a group of young British school boys have found themselves stranded on a deserted island after their plane has been shot down. Scatted throughout the island confused and without any adult supervision, the boys are put in the ultimate predicament. The conch shell found by two boys soon turns into a symbol of order and civilization that will effect how the boys try to survive on the island. Throughout the book, Golding gives the reader many hints to how the conch is a symbol of civilization and order. When the first two characters mentioned, Ralph and Piggy, find the conch, they wouldn’t realize what kind of impact it would have on their survival on the island. “Right away a symbolic characteristic is pointed out as Piggy warns Ralph as he goes to pick up the shell: "Careful! You'll break it--" (Patterson, Ainsley). Just like the shell, civilization is very fragile and can fall or “break” instantly and without notice. This warning towards Ralph can somewhat foreshadow what is to come later on in the book. With the first hint that the conch may be important in the story, another one follows. When the first two characters examine the shell, Piggy is suddenly hit with quite the epiphany. Piggy exclaims to Ralph, “We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They’ll come when they hear us—” (Golding 20). Considering the idea, Ralph begins to blow into the shell in hopes of gathering any other survivors. Fortunately for the boys, their method worked as figures of life start to appear around them. Boys began to gather as a group around the conch almost as if it were a centerpiece. This can be described as a second example of how the conch is an symbol of civilization and order for the boys. After bringing the boys together as a whole, the conch also serves a purpose when the boys meet. The boys find it hard to keep everyone quiet and things in order so they look to the conch for an...
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