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Use Of Symbolism In Golding's Lord Of The Flies

1322 words - 5 pages

Use of Symbolism in Golding's Lord of the Flies


Lord of the Flies, a suggestive name for the Devil, a devil whose name proposes that he is devoted to decay, destruction, demoralization and panic, exactly what William Golding had in mind when using symbolism in this novel. The Lord of the Flies (1954), is a novel in which interpretating the symbols are a main key to not only understanding, but also enjoying the novel. After tying many of the symbols together, you can figure out more about what the author is trying to depict, the overall scene.

This story takes place during World War II on a deserted island. After a plane, transporting about a dozen young boys, gets shot down, they are trapped on an island without any adults. Throughout a few week period, they become separated through many difficult, and trying times. Each character and object that is frequently used, are symbols that represent a small part in the big picture. Through the symbols, the author portrays what each boy contributes, or burdens, the island with during their struggle to escape.

The first thing I encountered and saw as a symbol when reading, was the island itself. This island had become their world. For as long as they were been on that island, that was the only thing they had, the only thing they knew. It was a world free from adults, laws and civilized society and full of responsibility. This set the picture of the boys, having to learn to survive by themselves, and shows you how important it is that they all come together. Ralph is a fairly quiet twelve year old with blond hair, and is the most influential of the group. He is the first one William talked about in the book. He was presented as a logical boy, and as the story progresses, you get the idea that he is the one trying to keep them all together and levelheaded so they can get off the island. He is eventually chosen as leader on account of his many positive qualities. He maintains a conflict with Jack throughout the entire novel, trying to keep order while Jack isn't as dedicated to it. The next person you meet in the story is a short fat boy, who wears spectacles. He is the most intellectual boy on the island, but since he has no social skills, he is usually in the background trying to maintain the peace. Together Ralph and Piggy represent the struggle for order and democracy.

The next thing that shows up in the story that has very importance as a symbol is the conch. Piggy and Ralph were walking around the island looking for others, when they see a pink shell shimmering in the water. Piggy recalled the shell as one he had seen used as an instrument. Upon seeing this, he picked it up, handed it to Ralph, the leader figure, and told him to blow. As he did this a noise was produced so that it carried itself across the island, drawing all the other boys to it's sound. This use of the conch is the first to demonstrate it's symbolism as authority.

The conch, throughout the whole story, is used...

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