Lord of the Flies is a novel written by William Golding, the author use a lot symbol in the novel, and make it such good book to read. The story takes place in the 1950s. In a nuclear war, a plane carrying a group of boys from the south toward the evacuation of the United Kingdom. The aircraft was attacked by a forced landing on a deserted Pacific coral island. These children are temporarily absent from the civilized world. The author uses symbolism to tell a lot of the powerful messages in the novel. The conch shell represents democracy and glasses represents intelligence and science.Then there was the pig head which was a really important symbol in the novel, it represents the evil, and the pig head is also known as the Lord of the Flies.The aim of this essay is to investigate that three symbol that is used in the novel.
The first important symbol is the conch.”We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They’ll come when they hear us”(p.g16) The conch shows the start of a civilization and rules. The conch represents the organization of the boys.When Ralph first blew into the conch, all the children, no matter what they are doing at that time, when they heard the sound all the boys start making their way towards the platform, then they had their first meeting. The conch also represents order. At the meeting, everyone had the rights to speak once they got the shell without the fear of being interrupted “Conch?” “That’s what this shell called. I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking.” (p.g33) Only the person holding the conch could speak, the others without the conch were expected to listen quietly. But as the novel keeps going the boys turn to their savage instincts, the power of the conch shell is eroded. When Ralph blows the shell to remind the boys of civilization, Jack and his dictatorial group throw rocks at him, which mean the civilization is over.
The glasses represent intelligence and science. Piggy is one of the first characters we meet when we start reading the Lord of the Flies. When he is described to us, the author mentions that fact that he wears glasses right away. “He came forward, searching out safe lodgements for his feet, and then looked up through thick spectacles.” (pg 12). Also In chapter 2 on the mountain shows why glasses represent science. The Piggy and boys can not figure out how to start the fire until Jack grabs the glasses off his face. Ralph uses the glasses to focus the rays of the sun on the wood. The glasses also represent hope, because the fire could be a signal for any boats or airplanes that pass by the island, without the glasses they cannot make fire. The last thing that glasses represent is the balance. Things are going ok on the island until Jack lets the fire go out because he was hunting and a ship passes them. When they are arguing over this, Jack smacks Piggy in the head and his glasses are knocked off and one lens breaks. “I got to have the specs. Now I only got one eye.” (pg. 90). This is the first time Jack shows that he is a dictator, and as we know we keep seeing this more and more until it gets to an extreme. The glasses show this because the glass in the lens is easy to break, just like the peace on the island turns out to be. And when you break part of something, it usually does not take long to break the other part because the part that already broke is a wound, if you do not fix it, it will get worse. This turns out to be true in the novel because the situation on the island gets much worse and other lens got destroyed, and Piggy was killed by Jack.
The Beast devised by the boys is imaginary, symbolizing the savage instinct within the hearts of all people. And as the boys grow more savage their belief in the beast increases correspondingly. The boys paint their faces with mud and blood. This shows they become more savagery and their return to primal human instincts. Only people who lived before civilization apply face paint in order either to camouflage themselves to merge with their surroundings while hunting, or to celebrate in a wild manner. When the boys reach the climax of their savagery, their savagery increases to the point where they kill Simon. “A thing was crawling out of the forest. It came darkly, uncertainly. The shrill screaming that rose before the beast was like a patina. ‘Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood’ The beast struggled forward, broke the ring, and feel over the steep edge of the rock to the sand by the water. At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leaped on the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore. There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws” ( p.g 158) They think Simon was the beast, because Jack and his dictatorship group were mentally crazy and it was night, they decided to go attack the shadow that was coming towards them and kill it. The beast also represents fear, because if no one would have mentioned a beast, then everyone would be calm and there would not have killed Simon.
Savagery because of the beast, make them become evil, or chance to be saved by a glasses because it can make fire, or a conch shell giving order and democracy. These are all symbols that make Lord of the Flies full of hiding meanings and figures. Many things throughout the story sound useless, but they are actually not, these things like the conch or the glasses have a really important meaning which is part of most of the story and have a huge significance.Lord of the Flies has many things which are great symbols with great meanings that makes this such a great book to read.