Symbols in William Golding's The Lord of the Flies Essay

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Symbols in William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

In this essay I will be discussing the different types of symbols and their meanings in the book “The Lord of the Flies.” I will be discussing how the signal fire, the conch Shell, and The lord of the Flies are all very important symbols in the novel “The Lord of the Flies.”

The first symbol I will talk about is the conch and how it was used and how it is so important to the novel. The conch shell was discovered by Ralph and Piggy on the beach at the start of the novel and they used it to get the boys together after the crash separates them all. When it is used in this capacity, the conch shell becomes a powerful symbol of civilization and
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The boulder that Roger rolls onto Piggy also crushes the conch shell, signifying the demise of the civilized instinct among almost all the boys on the island.

The nest symbol I will be describing is the signal fire. The signal fire burns on the top of the mountain, and later on the beach, to attract the notice of passing ships that might be able to rescue the boys. As a result, the signal fire becomes a barometer of the boys’ connecting to civilization. In the early part of the novel, the fact that the boys maintain the fire is a sign that they want to be rescued and return to society. When the fire burns low and goes out, we realize that the boys have lost sight of their desire to be rescued and have accepted they savage lives on the island. The signal fire thus functions as a kind of measurement of the strength of the civilized instinct remaining on the island, but not a signal. Ironically at the end of the novel, a fire of savagery-the forest fire Jack’s hang starts as part of his quest to hunt and kill the Ralph.

The last symbol I will be describing is probably the most important symbol in the novel, “The Lord of the Flies.” The Lord of the Flies is the bloody, severed pig’s head that Jack impales on a stick in the forest glade as an offering to the best. The complicated symbol becomes

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