What Does It Mean to Say That Lord of the Flies Is an Allegorical Novel? Discuss Its Important Symbols.

1142 Words Apr 14th, 2012 5 Pages
In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, there are many key characters, settings, objects and events that symbolise ideas much deeper than what is first perceived. It is these important symbols that make Lord of the Flies an allegorical novel. It is the constant struggle to maintain civilization and resist complying with the savage urges that rages within each human individual that plays a central theme throughout the novel. Significant objects like the conch and signal fire; plot events such as the pig hunts; the main characters and even Ralph’s hair are all symbols that have a grander meaning and transform this story into an allegorical novel.
Throughout Lord of the Flies, the conch acts as a vessel of political legitimacy and
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The strength of the fire was in sync with the boys’ willingness to return to society. There is a notable contrast in the early parts of the novel, were the boys maintain the fire as a sign that they want to be rescued and return to society, compared to when the fire burns low or goes out. Which is when we realize that the boys have lost sight of their desire to be rescued and have accepted their savage lives on the island. Ironically, it is the savagery of the inferno that Jack lights at the end of the novel, in his attempt to hunt and kill Ralph, that the boys are rescued. The combination of these different symbolic meanings suggest that if the boys’ world is an allegory for the real world, they are not being rescued at all. They are simply falling into a larger scale of violence and destruction. Consequently meaning that within a civilized rescue still lives malicious destruction.
The pig hunts are used throughout Lord of the Flies to symbolize not only man’s capacity for destruction and violence, but also the basic idea of bloodlust, mass hysteria, and ritual. The earliest pig hunts were failures due to the boys’ childlike innocence and lack of skill. However, in the later and most important pig hunt scene, we are given a vivid description of the slaughter of a mother pig, and we see that the boys have taken on a new viciousness in their desire to hunt. At this stage, survival on the island has become imperative to Jack and the hunters

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