Symbolism in The Lord of the Flies

Topics: William Golding, Pig, Symbol Pages: 3 (1063 words) Published: February 9, 2014


Lord of the Flies Essay

Some of the most significant symbols that William Golding uses in the Lord of the Flies are the pigs head, the beast, Piggy’s specs, the jungle, the scar, and the rock Roger uses to kill Piggy. All of these symbols play a big part in the story’s theme.

One of the more obvious symbols in Lord of the Flies is the object that gives the book its name, the pigs head. The description of the dead animals head is very graphic. It is described as “dim-eyed, grinning faintly, blood blackening between the teeth,” and the “obscene thing” is covered in “a black blob of flies” that “tickled under his nostrils.” (William Golding, Lord of the Flies, New York, Barkley Publishing Group, 1954, pg. 137-138) As a result of the detailed image, the reader becomes aware of the evil and darkness represented by the Lord of the Flies, and when Simon begins to talk with the seemingly inanimate, devil-like object, the source of the is evil is revealed. Even though the entire conversation may have been a hallucination, Simon learns that the beast is not real. In fact, the head of the dead pig tells him, “Fancy thinking the beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?” (pg. 143) Basically saying that the evil is present within you.

Another really important symbol in the book is the beast. In the imaginations of many of the boys, the beast is an actual source of evil on the island. It represents the evil naturally inside everyone, which is causing life on the island to fall apart. Simon begins to realize this even before the encounter with the Lord of the Flies, and during one argument over the existence of a beast he attempts to share his thoughts with the others. Cautiously Simon tells them, “Maybe, maybe there is a beast. What I mean is maybe it’s only us” (pg.89) In response to Simon’s statement, the rest of the boys begin to...
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