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Symbolism is defined as the representation; treatment or interpretation of things as symbolic. In society and in particular, literature, symbolism is a prominent component that helps to illustrate a deeper meaning then perceived by the reader. Symbolism can be anything, a person, place or thing, used to portray something beyond itself. It is used to represent or foreshadow the conclusion of the story. In William Golding’s, Lord of the Flies symbolism of the main characters Ralph, Jack and Simon plays a very important role in helping to show how our society functions and the different types of personalities that exist. An examination of Simon as a symbol of good, Ralph as a symbol of the common man, and Jack as a symbol of evil, clearly illustrates that William Golding uses characters as a symbol of what is really happening in the outside world throughout the novel.
First off, the common man is someone who has a balance between good and evil, a good perception of reality and strong morals. In Lord of the Flies, Ralph is the character who is perceived as this type of individual. The first example of this is Ralph’s appearance. Ralph keeps and continues to wear his school sweater while other boys run around naked. This illustrates his desire to keep the island somewhat civilized. Secondly, he does everything in his power to keep the boys working together and getting along with each other. Lastly, Ralph attempts to keep the boys under a type of domesticated. He tries to do this by making such laws as the freedom of speech. This law gave any member of the group a right to express his opinion. Unfortunately, Ralph’s attempts failed and the boys became savages.
Secondly, the evil side of a person is an unavoidable thing. It can be supressed but also can take over a person. Although everyone has an evil side, some have a harder time controlling it then others. The character of Jack was the representation of evil in the novel. First, Jack’s appearance is stereotypical of a possessed or evil person. He is tall and slender, with red hair and sports a of the slaughtered pig suggests is evil nature. This is a strange and barbaric thing to do in a civil society. Lastly, the fact that Jack black clock. Secondly, when he baptizes himself with the blood showed no remorse about the death of Simon clearly illustrates that he is the representations of evil in the novel.
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Finally, the good or moral person should be someone who stands up for what is right regardless of what others think, is willing to sacrifice for the greater good and is a very rational person. In the novel, Simon is the character who is shown as the good that exists in our society. First, Simon openly admits that he does not believe in the beast. Regardless of what the other boys think of him, he stands his ground. Secondly, Simon sacrifices his free time to help Ralph build shelter for all the boys. Although this involves much labour and hard work, he is willing to do anything he can to help out. Lastly, Simon is one of the only boys who does not jump to conclusions when rumors and stories of the beast begin to surface.
In conclusion, these points clearly William Golding uses characters as symbols of what is really happening in the outside world. The symbolism in this novel gives it a deeper meaning when you really think about it. In a way this book reflects what happens in our everyday society and problems we face everyday. Most of us fall into the category of the common person. Our lives are constant struggles between the good and evil. We must learn to find harmony and a balance.