Lord Of The Flies Allegory: Symbolism Of The Conch

1307 words - 5 pages

William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies significantly symbolizes characters, objects and the setting to represent our world as a whole. Golding uses those symbols to make the island similar to society and to show the difference between living in a civilized society and savagery. The novel takes place on an island during World War II; this is significant since the isolation forms a sort of civilization and community, a sort of microcosm to the real world and to human civilization.Lord of the Flies Island is similar to our society in many ways. There are certain objects that link the island and our society. Firstly William Golding portrays the conch as a symbol for power, order and authority. This is because whoever holds it becomes the only one with the authority to speak. That rule is official when Ralph says, "And another thing. We can't have everybody talking at once.We'll have to have 'Hands up' like at school…then I'll give him the conch." This is much like standing at the podium or holding a microphone in our civilized society or raising one's hand in school. The conch also represents the organization found in a democratic Government. Since the conch was discovered it has created order and rules and brought the boys together as a society. Jack says "we'll have rules!' he cried excitedly. "Lots of rules! Then anyone who breaks me. " As the conch starts to lose its power the tribe splits into two groups, just as the community would have if the government would no longer have control. The rise and fall of the conch symbolized the rise and fall of a system of rules, regulations and order in a society. It provided a parallel universe showing how important the rules and regulations are to a successful society. Therefore the conch is a symbol of human civilization thus making Lord of the Flies a smaller version of society.Another symbol of civilization is the glasses belonging to piggy. It symbolized knowledge and insight. They represent society's reliance upon technology and the weakness of human beings. They were created to make piggy's life better, without them he can hardly see. When Jack snatches the glasses off piggy's face, Piggy replies "Mind out! Give me back! I can hardly see!" The glasses are symbolic to technology which makes one's life more convenient or improves their quality of life. Without the glasses the boys would have not been able to start a fire since no one else knew another way to do so. After asking around for matches Jack points suddenly at Piggy and says "His specs-use them as burning glasses!" The concept that the boys would be helpless without the glasses symbolizes how helpless people become when they don't have technology to aid them. Also the clothes are a symbolic link to the survival of civilization and a symbol of conflict in society. In our society today, the clothing someone wears tells a lot about them. People are judged to be rich or poor, intelligent or unintelligent, or even neat or messy just by...

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