Savagery In Lord Of The Flies Symbolism Essay

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Symbolism in Lord of the Flies
In the allegorical novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses symbolism to explore the issues of civility and savagery. Throughout the novel, Golding connects symbolic items with the main characters, Ralph, Piggy, Simon, and Jack, to show how they change and become less civilized. This change is a major theme throughout the novel; it shows how the natural state of human beings is savagery. The novel also shows how objects can keep people grounded in their beliefs, albeit for a short time. In Lord of the Flies, Golding’s symbolic use of the conch shell, the fire, Piggy’s glasses, and the “beast” symbolizes the boys’ transition from civilization to savagery.
The first evident example of symbolism in Lord of the
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Each one of them represents a different personality. Ralph represents order, leadership and civilization. Even when all the boys have turned against him, his main goal is to remain civilized and keep order on the island. When Jack raids his camp for Piggy’s glasses, Ralph is shocked to find that Jack didn’t take the conch shell. This shows that Ralph still respects the rules. Throughout the story, Ralph urges the boys to remain civilized. He never lets go of the hope of being saved. Piggy symbolizes knowledge. Piggy is the one who knows how to use the conch shell when he and Ralph find it at the beginning of the story. Also, his glasses are the reason they were able to start the signal fire. When Piggy is killed, knowledge and reason are lost on the island. “What was the sensible thing to do? There was no Piggy to talk sense.” When Ralph is alone and all the boys are against him, he thinks of Piggy and wonders how he would handle the situation. Amal Gedleh analyzes Jack and Roger in his essay Symbolism in Lord of the Flies. “Jack and Roger symbolize evil. Jack shows the power-hungry and savage end of society while Roger represents brutality and bloodlust,” (Gedleh). It’s evident that Jack has been power-hungry since the beginning of the story. He wanted to be the leader, but Ralph was picked over him. However, he wasn’t savage at the beginning. He shows civility when he attempts to kill the pig the first time …show more content…
Everything Golding uses as a symbol shows some sort of transformation for the boys from civilized life to savage. As long as all the symbolic items are safe and respected, civility exists on the island. As the boys begin to care less about being civilized individuals, the things that symbolize their civilized sides are destroyed. The conch shell is destroyed, the fire is put out, and Piggy 's glasses are broken which shows that the boys no longer had the desire to stay civilized.
Golding’s symbolic use of objects in Lord of the Flies showed the boys’ transition from civilization to savagery. The symbolic items used in the novel connect with the main characters, and as the importance of each object changes, the characters become more savage. By connecting the symbols to the characters’ transition to savages, Golding is able to show a major theme in the novel—humankind’s natural state of savagery. He conveys the message to the reader that civilization is a man-made idea, and once we break past the walls of civilization, we are all

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