Sybolism in "Lord of the Flies."

Essay by reppinatl2fullHigh School, 10th gradeA+, October 2005

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The "Lord of the Flies" contains many examples of symbolism, which Golding has incorporated to show a deeper level to the main, mostly straight forward, storyline that revels his thoughts on the nature of humanity and evil. The use of object symbolism develops the structure and meaning of the novel. The symbolic meanings of certain items in the novel provide a degree of certainty of what the theme pertains to. The entire book is symbolic of the nature of man and society in general as the island becomes a society metaphorical to society as a whole and the hunt at the end of the book symbolic of the war. A symbol Golding uses throughout the book is the conch. It represents authority and order. The person holding the conch had the power, and it created order and rules since when it was called, everyone had to listen. Another symbol is Piggy's glasses.

It symbolized knowledge and insight. While Piggy had them, he was able to give advice to the group, such as that of the signal fire. It was the glasses that created the fire. However, after the glasses are broken, the group loses what insight they had. The war paint is also a symbol. It symbolized the rejection of society. In a way, when they put on the mask of war paint, they took off the mask of society and revealed their true inner selves, which was savage.

In "Lord of the Flies" an airplane with boys crashes on a deserted island. Ralph and Piggy discover the conch shell on the beach at the start of the novel and use it to summon the boys together after the crash separates them. Used in this capacity, the conch shell becomes a powerful symbol of civilization and...