Significance Of Conch In Lord Of The Flies

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The Conch

In the Lord of the Flies, the conch is used to represent a symbol of authority and order on the island. When the boys first land on the island, Ralph spots the conch amongst the weeds but it is Piggy who knows what it is and realizes that is “ever so valuable.” Piggy teaches Ralph how to blow the conch and initially, the loud sound of the conch is used for calling meetings and henceforth is instituted as a symbol of power and authority. ‘Where the conch is, that’s a meeting. The same up here as down there.” They assented. Piggy opened his mouth to speak, caught Jack’s eye and shut it again. Jack held out his hands for the conch and stood up, holding the delicate thing carefully in his sooty hands. “I agree with Ralph. We’ve got to
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In the beginning, he often quotes his aunt and he is the closest thing to an adult, resilient in his quest for order and structure, on the island. He is the only one to recognize the value of the conch, how it can be used to create order, and call the boys to assembly. Piggy wants to be rescued even when others get used to life on the island. He makes a survival plan from the time of the boys’ first meeting and is disgusted by the fact that the other children have neither any good ideas nor follow directions. Even when the plan is to build a signal fire to attract a rescue ship, the others approach it as a picnic. ‘Piggy watched him in disgust. “Like a crowd of kids–” He sighed, bent, and laced up his shoes. The noise of the errant assembly faded up the mountain. Then, with the martyred expression of a parent who has to keep up with the senseless ebullience of the children, he picked up the conch, turned toward the forest, and began to pick his way over the tumbled scar.’(180) Piggy tries hard to maintain order and a sense of purpose of the boys’ life on the island, but it is almost as if he is a lone parent who is overcome by a group of rowdy children. The conch is his only weapon in maintaining order and Piggy is respectful of the conch and proud of the chance to use it. Piggy is closely intertwined with the conch; he is the one who recognizes it and knows how to blow …show more content…
The arrogant leader of the choir boys, Jack wants to be chief of all the boys right from the beginning. When Jack does not get elected to be the leader of the tribe, he goes for the next best thing, leader of the hunters; ‘“Am I a hunter or am I not?” They nodded, simply. He was a hunter all right. No one doubted that.’(83) Jack and his hunters dress themselves up with war paint and go out to kill the pigs that live on the island. The war paint transforms the boys and gives them a mask that allows them give into their inner savage and hunt and kill. After the first kill, Jack gains even more confidence and uses a mixture of force and reasoning to pull the others to his side. “Jack ignored them for the moment, turned his mask down to the seated boys and pointed at them with the spear. “Who’s going to join my tribe?” Ralph made a sudden movement that became a stumble. Some of the boys turned toward him. “I gave you food,” said Jack, “and my hunters will protect you from the beast. Who will join my tribe?. . . And the conch doesn’t count at this end of the island—”” Jack uses his strengths, his hunting to provide food and protection from the frightening beast to take away Ralph’s power. After the first kill of the sow, all his restraint for killing vanishes. Jack believes that he knows what

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