Lord of the Flies Symbolism Essay

Topics: Symbol, William Golding, Theme music Pages: 2 (721 words) Published: August 27, 2013
Lord of the Flies Essay
Analyse how symbols are used to develop an idea in a text you have studied. In the novel Lord of the Flies written by William Golding, an idea that is developed throughout the novel is civilisation versus savagery. This is shown through the symbolism of the conch, the fire and Piggy’s glasses. This use of symbolism helps the reader to understand the inherent evil in mankind and the balance between civilisation and the society we live in now versus the inner savagery that is surfacing in the boys during the book. One of the symbols Golding uses to explore and develop the theme of civilisation versus savagery is the conch. The conch is first used on the island when blown by Ralph to gather and signal any other boys that survived the plane crash on the island. This here is the first sign of civilisation as once the conch is blown and boys begin to appear, they make rules and regulations and elect a chief. This is a sign of democracy which we recognise in society today. Golding uses the conch as a symbol for civilisation throughout the novel and is associated with law and order. This is shown to the reader when Piggy says “I have the conch, so I have the power to speak!” the conch’s power works for a short period of time until the authority that is associated with the conch slips away and is overpowered by the savagery and inherent evil that has been hidden away in mankind erupting out of the boys. When the conch is destroyed, civilisation is completely shattered. As the reader we realise then that the aim of rescue is lost and replaced with the need to hunt and kill. This relates back to society today as we look at countries that have no authoritive figure to look up to or abide by and we see the chaos and havoc amongst the people and their morals lost. The second symbol Golding uses to develop the theme is the fire. The fire represents civilisation and the hope of being rescued. It also represents order and safety. The fire is first used...
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