James Oliver Curwood once said, “In every man’s heart there is a devil, but we do not know the man is bad until the devil is roused.” In Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, a group of schoolboys are stranded on an island after their plane crashes. Ralph becomes the leader of the boys and tries to maintain civilization on the island. In order to maintain a civilization there must be authority, hope, and intelligence. On the island, these aspects begin to break down and disintegrate quickly when human nature takes over causing civilization to fail. Consequently, many of the boys become savages and fight amongst themselves. The Lord of the Flies implies that all humans are born evil, but clearly not everyone acts in an evil manner. Golding suggests that the laws and norms of society restrain humans’ innate evil, and, if these laws are not reinforced, then man’s evil nature emerges.
Throughout the book, the conch and signal fire become important symbols and help maintain civilization on the island. Initially, Ralph and Piggy find a conch shell on the beach. Whenever Ralph blows the conch, all of the boys gather together and hold a meeting in a civilized manner. Ralph implements a rule stating the holder of the conch is the only one that can speak. The conch represents democracy and authority because during these meetings, the boys gather and talk in an organized way by listening to other people’s ideas and deciding on priorities. When Ralph blows into the conch to call a meeting, the boys “[obey] the summons of the conch, partly because Ralph [blows] it, and he [is] big enough to be a link between the adult world of authority” (59). This shows how the conch effectively governs the boy's meeting and they obey it because they recognize that the holder of the conch has authority. Secondly, the signal fire becomes an important symbol of hope. It provides a bridge back to society, the outside world, and rescue because if a nearby ship sees the fire, it will come to...
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