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Symbolic Elements in The Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Decent Essays
In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding the stranded boys come into contact with some particular elements that represent an idea which are called symbols. These symbols include the beast which represents the fear of the unknown and the darkness of mankind. The second symbol is the signal fire which represents hope. The third symbol is the conch shell which represents order. Golding indicates that when man is taken out of civilization, they have a natural instinct is to become evil, darkness and barbaric and these symbols help to support his opinion.
One of the main problems that the boys had on the island was the beast. In their minds the beast was a terrible creature that was out to kill them. Their fear of the beast ruined
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The fire was his only hope of keeping it together and acting like a human being. Once it was gone, so was any hope of being civilized.
One of the most important symbols in Lord of the Flies is the conch shell. It represents law, order and power. The shell was the only way to gather everybody from their scattered places on the island. When the conch was blown the boys knew that the chief had something important to say. Once everyone was gathered at the meeting, the holder of the shell was the only person allowed to speak. In the novel, Golding compared the conch shell to its opposite; the pig’s head. The head contradicted the shell because it characterized chaos and terror. The shell also emphasized that power is fake. A flag is no more meaningful than the conch that Ralph had. It’s the meaning behind it and the meaning that people give it that makes it important. Rules are only powerful if everyone agrees on them. Ralph realized this once Jack left and took most of the group with him. If he blew the conch and no one came, the shell would lose all of its power. “If I blow the conch and they don’t come back; then we’ve had it. We shan’t keep the fire going. We’ll be like animals. We’ll never be rescued.” (Golding 124) When the conch breaks, so does Ralph’s power and Jack takes his spot as chief.
William Golding uses young boys on an island as an example to show that the world is
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