The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, explores issues involving civilization and savagery. After a plane of British schoolboys crashes on an uninhabited island, they discover items that could benefit them in surviving alone with no adults. They eventually created the meanings behind the items in the way they used them and portrayed them. The three most influential items are the conch, the lord of the flies himself, and … Golding uses these symbols to further his premise that human nature is innately savage even though there is a constant struggle to civilize it.
On an uninhabited island overrun by British schoolboys, a shell to help the boys build a strong society was found. Ralph and Piggy, two of the main characters, find a shell on the island, the conch, and decide they can use this to instill law and order with the boys. “‘We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They’ll come when they hear us’” (16). This conch symbolizes civilization and power, Ralph, who eventually became leader of the “tribe”, created the rule that if one of the boys wanted to talk without being interrupted, they needed to have the conch in their hands. This rule symbolized exactly what the conch did, power, “I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak” (33). Allowing this rule to stick revealed the desire to lead in the boys. At the end of the novel, the conch still existed but its power did not, “the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist” (181).