Lord of the Flies

There are many symbols in William Golding’s Lord Of The Flies. Two of the most important symbols in the book are the conch shell and the sow’s head. Each symbol holds a different power over the boys, as well as an opposite power. The two symbols also have a different boy who introduced them to the story. Like the symbols, the two boys are both complete opposites. I think that the conch shell represents order and civilization. Ralph is the boy who introduced the conch to the rest of the boys, and he too is a symbol inthe book. He represents the same thing as the conch.

The power the conch holds over the boys is a power the forces them to stay civilized. The sow’s head is a symbol of savagery and destruction. The boy who introduced the idea of the sow’s head on a stick was Jack, and Jack too is a symbol in the book. Jack stands for savagery. You know right from the start of the novel the Jack is not like the other boys, and that he’s a savage because of what he tells Ralph that he wants him and his choir to be. When asked what he would like to do on the island he replies “Hunters” (Golding, page 19. ) The powerthe sow’s head holds over the boys is more of fear than a power.

The sow’s head is a constant reminder that they are living like savages. I think it also reminds the boys that if they can kill a pig then they would probably kill one of the others. To Simon the sow’s head holds a completely different power over him. To Simon the sow’s head represents craziness. Simon is different than the other boys, so that might by why the sow’s head is different for him. When the other boys are fighting, Simon goes to his private glade in the forest. The thing that gave me the idea that the sow’s head represents something different to Simon is because Simon has a conversation with it.

Also because the conversation sounds like something that would’ve came out of Simon’s head, because Simon never really believed in a beast on the island and the sow’s head or The Lord Of The Flies says to Simon “Fancy thinking the beast was something you could hunt and kill” (Golding, page157. ) I think by saying that The Lord Of The Flies means, that the real beasts on the island are what the boys have turned into, killing obsessed savages! To all of the boys the conch is a symbol of order. The conch has the power to hold silence and civilization over the boys, kind of like how a judge’s gavel holds silence over his/her court.

The conch keeps the boys together, helps them from becoming completely uncivilized and savages. The book proves this because once the conch shatters, so do all the rules. From the beginning of the book you know the conch is going to hold order over the boys because first of all the way they describe the sound of it “A deep harsh note boomed under the palms.. ”(Golding, page 12. ) Also because after is it blown all the boys gather. I think that another reason why you know right from the start that the conch is going to be good is because Ralph.

Ralph introduced the conch and he stands for civilization as well. It is Ralph who says, “Lets have a vote” (Golding, page 12,) and it is Ralph that said, “We need shelter” (Golding, page 18,) with ideas and common sense like that, only good can come out of. When the sow’s head is introduced to the boys they are in shock. The sow’s head holds the power to scare the boys or freak them out a bit. The sow’s head is put on a stick to sacrifice to the “beast”. I think that Jack’s idea when he did this was to make sure the beast doesn’t harm Jack and his tribe and go for Ralph.

I think the sow’s head makes you think of something every time you look at it, death or guilt. Jack is a symbol of savagery, which is just like the symbol meaning of the sow’s head. It is savagery that destroys civilization on the island when the conch break to pieces, so really it is the symbols that are fighting, not just Jack and Ralph and in the end the book proves that neither will win because the savage in everyone lets loose sometimes, but so does the civilized part. In this book the power of symbols control all the boys. Some of the symbols in this book control them completely while others have no power at all.

For example the rule Ralph made up “I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking”. (Golding, page 31. ) So the conch controls when the boys talk. Another example is the fire on top of the mountain. The fire is a symbol of hope or being rescued and the boys somewhat value it and sometimes decide that they will keep it going incase a ship sails by. So really, the fire is no concern to them, unless it’s for cooking, which I think is stupid, when cooking will keep you alive but you will never get off the island unless someone sees them.

The hunting power is so strong even Ralph the most civilized boy left on this island by the end of the book, gives in and finally takes part. Ralph even tries to kill a pig and when the boys don’t believe him he says “I hit him alright the spear stuck in I wounded him! ” (Golding, page 124. ) There are not only symbols in The Lord Of The Flies but there are symbols in reality as well. A symbol is similar to the sow’s head in real life is a gun. Like the sow’s head a gun represents death, uncivilization and savagery. A similar symbol to the conch that is off the island is the bell in our classroom.

When the bell is rung the class is silent just like when the conch is blown. Another example of a symbol that relates to the conch is like when a student raises their hand during class to show that they have something to say. So just like in the book people use different symbols to hold a different power over a group of people. So in conclusion I think that the sow’s head and the conch each have a completely opposite power over the boys on the island. Also that there are not only symbols in the book, but that there are also symbols used in real life. Both in the book and in reality the symbols are used to control a group.

All symbols have a different power and amount of it; and I think that Lord Of The Flies does it really well. In Lord of the Flies the power of the conch is clear virtually from the first moment it’s found–it has the power to unite the boys. Soon it becomes the sign of order and discipline, as well, for whoever has the conch gets to speak. Like all shells, it deteriorates with the sand and the sun; symbolically, as it deteriorates, so does order and discipline and civility on the island. The pig’s head on a stick, also known as the Lord of the Flies, wieldsa different kind of power.

Jack uses the sow’s head to control his hunters. He tells them they need to leave a sacrifice which will appease the beast and keep them safe. There’s absolutely no truth to this claim; however, the boys want to believe, so it works. I think of it as kind of a placebo–if the patient thinks the pill is medicine, it has the power to heal. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, the conch is symbolic of the order of society while the pig’s head is symbolic of Beelezebub and the chaos of demonic power. Thus, they are representative of two different aspects of man’s nature.

In the first part of Golding’s allegory, the conch is respected and responded to by the boys. They come in an orderly way to their meetings, they do not speak unless they hold the conch; they act civilized. But, by Chapter 5, anarchy begins when Jack ignores the conch and shouts over Ralph’s insistence on that the rules are all they have:  “Who cares?…. Bollocks to the rules! We’re strong–we hunt! ” It is at this point that Simon becomes “inarticulate in his effort to express mankind’s essential illness. ”  And, Jack and the hunters steal the fire and leave the head for the beast.

Simon, who has hidden himself in the leaves, looks at the head after the others depart: The half-shut eyes were dim with the infinite cynicism of adult life. They assured Simon that everything was a bad business…. the Lord ofthe Flies hung on his stick and grinned… and his gaze was held by that ancient, inescapable recognition. Intuitively, Simon recognizes the pig’s head, “Lord of the Flies”/Beelezebub as the evil that is inherent in man. Simon tries to insist that he is merely “a pig’s head on a stick,” but the Beast retorts, “You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go?

Why things are what they are? ” It is, of course, after this incident and the theft of the fire that anarchy rules on the island, replacing the civilization of the rules and the conch. The sows head was blood, hunting and aggression… The conch was equality and fairness, right to speak… The Sows head instils a blood lust The Conch allows all to speak allowing to time to think rationally before voicing opinions Power is often a source of violence in Lord of the Flies. The desire for power breaks down the boundaries set by rules and order, causes strife and competition, and governs the actions of many of the boys on the island.

Once achieved, power has the ability to either improve or corrupt its holder. Ralph, the more noble of the two leaders on the island, is bettered by his position as chief; whereas Jack, the usurper, abuses his power for personal gain. Lord of the Flies shows that brute force is the most corrupt type of power. In Lord of the Flies, the desire for power is the force that disintegrates the boys’ group. The gift to the beast is a severed sow’s head which is placed in the ground as an offering in hopes to keep the beast away from the boys.

The head is a symbol of evil, and is equally opposing to the conch. The conch is a sign of power and order, and the head is the opposite, it is a sign of violence in all of the savages especially Jack. The dead pig’s head is described as, “dim-eyed, grinning faintly, [with] blood blackening between its teeth”(137). It is an image meant to instill fear into the readers and show how gruesome the head is. After the sow’s head is described, “all at once they were running away, as fast as they could, through the forest toward the open beach”(137). The boys fear the sow’s head as if it is the beast.

Simon, unknowingly to Jack and his tribe witnessed the murder of the sow and after Jack and his men leave Simon has a conversation with the pig head as if it were alive. William Golding refers to the head as The Lord of the Flies in their conversation. In the conversation, The Lord of the Flies tells Simon that there is evil in everyone, and if he tries to warn them about the beast’s existence then Simon will die. Sure enough, Simon is killed, and not by the beast but by the evil in all of the children (including his own friends). In Hebrew the word that translates directly to “the lord of the flies” is Beelzebub.

In Christianity Beelzebub is another name for the fallen angel Lucifer who became the devil. Therefore, The Lord of the Flies is a direct biblical reference to the devil. Golding uses The Lord of the Flies as a symbol of the devil and savagery throughout the novel. While running away from Jack and his men, Ralph “came to a clearing in the forest where rock prevented vegetation from growing… and [noticed] that the pig’s skull grinned at him from the top of a stick… Fear and rage swept him. Fiercely he hit out at the filthy thing… ”(185) destroying the skull as it was to him a reminder of Jack.

Ralph, being the only non-savage left on the island, would try to destroy the devilish symbol. In doing so, the Lord of the Flies mocking grin grows as “the skull lay in two pieces, its grin now six feet across”(185). Even after lashing out at the skull its grin only grows wider, and Jack only grows more savage. Ralph, then “wrenched the quivering stick from the crack and held it as a spear between him and the white pieces”(185) of the skull. In this moment Ralph picks up the spear as if it were a line between him and evil and crosses over to the dark side.

The Lord of the Flies was not lying in his conversation with Simon when he said that there is evil in everyone, because even Ralph is affected and jabs his spear at numerous savages. In the novel, “Lord of the Flies,” by William Golding,() Lord of the Flies and() conch shell are two of the most important symbols. Each one of them reflect(s) important value(), and they are the two? (symbols) that make Jack and Ralph become stronger. The symbols both represent power, but what they represent are different from one another whcih helps Jack and Ralph to have a distant realtionship.

Ralph and Jack are the two central characters who use the symbols to gain more power among the boys. The Lord of the Flies and() conch shell are the symbols that make the story more diverse and interesting as they imply essential values. Jack and Ralph use their own symbols to take the power over from (overpower)each other and control the other boys. The Lord of the Flies represent() savages and ()conch shell represent() civilization. When many of the boys begin to be afraid of the beast, they start to believe in the beast. As Jack and his hunters hunt and kill the sow, they decide to cut(off) the sow’s head and offer(it) to the beastie.

Jack put() the sow’s head on the spear and dig under (sticks it into)the ground. As the bloody sow’s head is surrounded by many flies, it is called to be the Lord of the Flies. Then it implies (also foreshadows)Simon’s cruelty, evilness and the truth about the existence of the beastie. Ralph uses(the) conch shell to support civiliation. He makes a rule that whomever gets (holds)the conch shell would get to say (speak)(like in a democracy)which is democratic. The Lord of the Flies is the symbol that leads savages as the conch shell leads civilization.

The Lord of the Flies and (the)conch shell are closely related symbols to Jack and Ralph. Jack can increase his power among the boys as he uses the subject, beastie to control the others. For instance, he pretends that he knows everything about it, and he promises protection to the littuluns to lure them(in) to join his tribe. Ralph gets (takes)advangtage in the beginning of the novel as he uses his conch shell to summon(the) others. Then, Ralphbecomes (is)elected leader. Jack and Ralph are affected a lot by their symbols. The Lord of the Flies and ()conch shell are used to achieve each one’s(different/specific)goal(s)(in the novel).

The Lord of the Flies is used by Jack when he intends to control() others. As Jack scares the other boys by saying (talking)about the beast, and as he succeeds from (in)the hunting the sow, he exaggerates(about? is greatness to the boys)? himself. Then, through the Lord of the Flies, Jack shows the(true) nature of evilness in humanity. The counch shell is used by Ralph as he decides to use to call others to(the) assembly or (as a sign of permission to speak over the assembly)right to say words. Therefore, through(the) conch shell, Ralph organizes and maintains thecivilization among the boys.

In conclusion, ()sow’s head and() conch shell(illustrate) draw important roles in the novel. As the sow’s head is conteminated bY Flies, it becomes cruel, evil and() savagery figure. The conch shell that Ralph finds in the beginning of the novel would represnet order, democracy and civilization. Throughout the signifficant symbols, Golding makes the story more exciting as() two main characters use their own figure (symbols)to defend and attack one another. In the novel, “Lord of the Flies,” by William Golding,() Lord of the Flies and() conch shell are two of the most important symbols.

Each one of them reflect(s) important value(), and they are the two? (symbols) that make Jack and Ralph become stronger. The symbols both represent power, but what they represent are different from one another whcih helps Jack and Ralph to have a distant realtionship. Ralph and Jack are the two central characters who use the symbols to gain more power among the boys. The Lord of the Flies and() conch shell are the symbols that make the story more diverse and interesting as they imply essential values. Jack and Ralph use their own symbols to take the power over from (overpower)each other and control the other boys.

The Lord of the Flies represent() savages and ()conch shell represent() civilization. When many of the boys begin to be afraid of the beast, they start to believe in the beast. As Jack and his hunters hunt and kill the sow, they decide to cut(off) the sow’s head and offer(it) to the beastie. Jack put() the sow’s head on the spear and dig under (sticks it into)the ground. As the bloody sow’s head is surrounded by many flies, it is called to be the Lord of the Flies. Then it implies (also foreshadows)Simon’s cruelty, evilness and the truth about the existence of the beastie.

Ralph uses(the) conch shell to support civiliation. He makes a rule that whomever gets (holds)the conch shell would get to say (speak)(like in a democracy)which is democratic. The Lord of the Flies is the symbol that leads savages as the conch shell leads civilization. The Lord of the Flies and (the)conch shell are closely related symbols to Jack and Ralph. Jack can increase his power among the boys as he uses the subject, beastie to control the others. For instance, he pretends that he knows everything about it, and he promises protection to the littuluns to lure them(in) to join his tribe.

Ralph gets (takes)advangtage in the beginning of the novel as he uses his conch shell to summon(the) others. Then, Ralphbecomes (is)elected leader. Jack and Ralph are affected a lot by their symbols. The Lord of the Flies and ()conch shell are used to achieve each one’s(different/specific)goal(s)(in the novel). The Lord of the Flies is used by Jack when he intends to control() others. As Jack scares the other boys by saying (talking)about the beast, and as he succeeds from (in)the hunting the sow, he exaggerates(about? is greatness to the boys)? himself.

Then, through the Lord of the Flies, Jack shows the(true) nature of evilness in humanity. The counch shell is used by Ralph as he decides to use to call others to(the) assembly or (as a sign of permission to speak over the assembly)right to say words. Therefore, through(the) conch shell, Ralph organizes and maintains thecivilization among the boys. In conclusion, ()sow’s head and() conch shell(illustrate) draw important roles in the novel. As the sow’s head is conteminated bY Flies, it becomes cruel, evil and() savagery figure. The conch shell that Ralph finds in the beginning of the novel would represnet order, democracy and civilization.

Throughout the signifficant symbols, Golding makes the story more exciting as() two main characters use their own figure (symbols)to defend and attack one another. In the book The Lord of the Flies the pig’s head demonstrates Jack’s power and ability to hunt and obtain food for the group. The conch demonstrates civilization. Ralph gained power in the beginning of the book when he held up the conch and blew it. Because he held the conch the group voted for him to be the leader. As the children become hungry and frightened they pull towards Jack because he is able to kill and feed them. e is also the aggressor and can control them by means of his strong and foreboding personality. The conch is destroyed which indicates that the last of civilization has been destroyed. If the pig’s head is a symbol of one type of power, it is the incredible power of human nature, in this case mostly for evil. The beast even reveals this side of power to Simon. The boys start to exhibit some aspects of this type of power as they give themselves over to Jack’s tribe, submitting to their more carnal desires to hunt, to be anonymous through the use of paint and filth, to hurt and to kill and to feed.

This power becomes irresistable to all but Ralph and Piggy and Samneric, even as some of the boys under its spell object to the use of that power by Jack. The conch stands for the power of civilization, the power of rules and order and, in this case, the very thin veneer of goodness that it lends to people. It only takes a few days for this power to be overcome by the power of disorder, of inner desire, of the animalistic tendencies of the boys. Through the boys, Golding has crafted a commentary on the influence of both kinds of powers and perhaps what holds it at bay some of the time in “civilized” society.

The Conch Shell 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 order in the novel. The shell effectively governs the boys’ meetings, for the boy who holds the shell holds the right to speak. In this regard, the shell is more than a symbol—it is an actual vessel of political legitimacy and democratic power. As the island civilization erodes and the boys descend into savagery, the conch shell loses its power and influence among them.

Ralph clutches the shell desperately when he talks about his role in murdering Simon. Later, the other boys ignore Ralph and throw stones at him when he attempts to blow the conch in Jack’s camp. 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 Lord of the Flies is the bloody, severed sow’s head that Jack impales on a stake in the forest glade as an offering to the beast. This complicated symbol ecomes the most important image in the novel when Simon confronts the sow’s head in the glade and it seems to speak to him, telling him that evil lies within every human heart and promising to have some “fun” with him. (This “fun” foreshadows Simon’s death in the following chapter. ) In this way, the Lord of the Flies becomes both a physical manifestation of the beast, a symbol of the power of evil, and a kind of Satan figure who evokes the beast within each human being. Looking at the novel in the context of biblical parallels, the Lord of the Flies recalls the devil, just as Simon recalls Jesus.

In fact, the name “Lord of the Flies” is a literal translation of the name of the biblical name Beelzebub, a powerful demon in hell sometimes thought to be the devil himself. The central concern of Lord of the Flies is the conflict between two competing impulses that exist within all human beings: the instinct to live by rules, act peacefully, follow moral commands, and value the good of the group against the instinct to gratify one’s immediate desires, act violently to obtain supremacy over others, and enforce one’s will. This conflict might be expressed in a number of ways: civilization vs. savagery, order vs. haos, reason vs. impulse, law vs. anarchy, or the broader heading of good vs. evil. Throughout the novel, Golding associates the instinct of civilization with good and the instinct of savagery with evil. The conflict between the two instincts is the driving force of the novel, explored through the dissolution of the young English boys’ civilized, moral, disciplined behavior as they accustom themselves to a wild, brutal, barbaric life in the jungle. Lord of the Flies is an allegorical novel, which means that Golding conveys many of his main ideas and themes through symbolic characters and objects.

He represents the conflict between civilization and savagery in the conflict between the novel’s two main characters: Ralph, the protagonist, who represents order and leadership; and Jack, the antagonist, who represents savagery and the desire for power. As the novel progresses, Golding shows how different people feel the influences of the instincts of civilization and savagery to different degrees. Piggy, for instance, has no savage feelings, while Roger seems barely capable of comprehending the rules of civilization.

Generally, however, Golding implies that the instinct of savagery is far more primal and fundamental to the human psyche than the instinct of civilization. Golding sees moral behavior, in many cases, as something that civilization forces upon the individual rather than a natural expression of human individuality. When left to their own devices, Golding implies, people naturally revert to cruelty, savagery, and barbarism. This idea of innate human evil is central toLord of the Flies, and finds expression in several important symbols, most notably the beast and the sow’s head on the stake.

Among all the characters, only Simon seems to possess anything like a natural, innate goodness. Power is a central theme in the novel. Because the boys yearn for power and control, they begin to corrupt their existence on the island. Ralph achieves power in a democratic fashion – a vote – and retains power for a period of time because of his logic and respect for those around him. Unfortunately, Jack achieves power in a tyrannical fashion resorting to violence and threats to hold on to the control/power he possesses.

In all, the want of power, the corrupting nature of power begins to erode what good intentions the boys had on the island. n Lord of the Flies the idea of power is expressed this way. Imagine a world where there were no rules, no laws, no government to oversee the running of the country. People lived according to how they could survive and how they defined that survival. In Lord of the Flies, the boys are challenged to survive. A question of which idea of human behavior and human relationships will dominate their existence is addressed in the book. The author wants to explore whether men are basically savages at heart.

When given a chance to obtain power, would most use it to control and suppress others or will individuals act with compassion and integrity? In the absence of authority will men act with integrity or will greed and selfishness rule? The book emphasizes the power struggle between order and chaos that occurs between the different personalities of the boys and who ultimately takes control or has the power to rule and command others. In their efforts to survive, will the boys succumb to the forces of evil and submit to savage behavior or will they retain their learned civilized behavior? Unfortunately, chaos defeats order and savagery ensues.

November 1, 2017