Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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Authors often use symbols to convey a theme or main idea to the reader. In the Lord of the Flies a group of British schoolboys are stranded on an island during the third world war. They are left on the island to fend for themselves without any adults. The boys must create a civilization for themselves or risk being consumed by savagery. The Lord of the Flies uses symbols like the conch, the pig's head, and even the boys themselves to convey the theme that without civilization and rules we turn into savages. The author, William Golding, builds up the conch as an important symbol right away. At first it's used to call the boys together by Raplh and to determine who speaks. This shows that the conch is the symbol of civilization. But then some of the boys begin to turn into savages and people like Jack stop obeying the conch, "And the conch doesn't count at this end of the island"(150). This leads to their civilization falling apart and collapsing. Without civilization there to keep us on the moral path the boys begin to turn evil and savage, they eventually kill Piggy and destroy the conch, the final nail in civilization's coffin. After this symbol is destroyed the boys get more savage and treat Ralph like a pig, "Roger sharpened a stick at both ends"(190). In conclusion, without the conch's authority as a symbol of civilization the boys turn into savages. Although this is an important symbol there are other important ones as well. The pig's head is one of the most important symbols in the story. The head is the opposite of the conch, it represents chaos, savagery, lawlessness, and evil. When SImon speaks to the pig's head it is referred to as the Lord of the Flies. The flies are the boys on the island and the Lord of them all is ... ... middle of paper ... ...rds in diameter, into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life"(56). This shows that Roger is slowly becoming free of the restrictions of his old life and his old rules. The characters are extremely important and they represent civilization, humanity, and the breakdown of that to savagery. The Lord of the Flies conveys the theme that without civilization we would turn into savages using symbols. Symbols like the conch, the pig's head, and the boys represent civilization, savagery, and humanity. The conch are the laws that control us and protect us from savagery and the breakdown of civilization. The pig's head is our savagery and desire to commit evil. And the boys are different aspects of human nature that all succumb to savagery. Symbols are important parts of stories for authors to get their theme across to their reader.

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