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Lord Of The Flies By William Golding

1322 words - 5 pages

Symbolism is using words, places, people, and objects for a meaning that is deeper than its literal meaning. In the novel, “Lord of the Flies,” William Golding uses so much symbolism that the novel could arguably be viewed as an allegory, or a writing with a double meaning. While not all of the symbols are very obvious, the novels title for example, a few of them are, for example, the conch shell, the fire and the parachutist are all very prominent symbols used by Golding. In “Lord of the Flies” there are so many different examples of symbolism that could make the reader believe that the novel actually contains two totally different stories, the literal story, and the symbolic story.
Before the reader even opens the book they are unknowingly presented with a major symbol in the novel; the title. "Lord of the flies" can be translasted to "Ba'alzevuv" (Hebrew,) or "Beelzebub" (Greek). It has been said that the novel's title may have been a mistranslation of a mistransliterated word, which gives those who knows the translation, the idea that the title is about a devil whos main focus is decay, destruction, demoralization, hysteria, and panic, which are all central themes in Lord of the Flies. The devil is obviously not present throughout the course of the novel, but William Golding created his own "devil" figure, his own spin on "Beelzbub," a more modern "devil;" the boys. At first, the boys in the novel were all on the same page, but as the novel progresses the "devil" figure emerges. The boys all split up, due to decay of the civilzation and their democracy that they created, leading to a more anarchist form of government (under Jacks rule,) and a struggle for power between two of the main characters, Jack and Ralph. Although there was no traditional religious sense of the devil in Golding's novel, the "devil" lives within each boy, slowly destroying their "civilization," causing the boys to lose their sense of sanity and humanity, turning them all into wild aniumals, with little to no morals. (Epstein, 108.)
Out of all of the symbolism tht William Golding presents his audience with, one of the obviously more prominant symbols in "Lord of the Flies" is the conch shell. In the very begining of the novel, Ralph and Piggy discover the conch in the lagoon; “S’right. It’s a shell! I seen one like that before. On someone’s back
wall. A conch he called it. He used to blow it and then his mum would
come. It’s ever so valuable—” (Golding, 15.) All throughout the entire mnovel the conch was the universal signal for order and a sense of civilization. The conch governed meetings, kept the peace, and helped in creating a civilization. In order to talk at a meeting, the boy who wishes to speak has to be holding the conch, otherwise, they were not permitted to speak. Golding makes it a point to decribe the shell's color in great detail, the brighter the coloring on the shell, the stronger their civilaztion is, and the more control Ralph had,...

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