The Conch Shell
After the plane crash had separated the boys, Ralph and Piggy come across the conch shell lying on the beach and use it to call the group together. In the novel, the conch shell turns into a very prevailing symbol of civilization and order. Afterwards, the conch shell is used in meetings as a control tool for the one who is to speak, whereby, whoever holding it has the command to speak. In this instance, the conch shell graduates from being a symbol to being an instrument of democratic power and political legitimacy. The conch shell seizes being an influential and powerful symbol and instrument among the boys when the sense of civilization fades away and they resort to savagery.
When Ralph is talking about his role in killing Simon, he desperately holds onto the conch shell. Later, when he tries to blow the shell in Jack's camp, the other boys don't pay attention to him and instead throw at stones at him. The remaining sense of civilization amongst the majority of the boys is shredded as Roger rolls a huge rock onto Piggy crushing the shell alongside.
The most rational and intelligent boy in the group is Piggy and a symbol of intellectual endeavor and science in the society is drawn to his glasses. At the beginning of the book, the symbolism of his glasses is highlighted when they use the lenses from his glasses was used to start a fire by focusing the rays of the sun. Ralph's group is rendered helpless when the glasses are lost in the aftermath of a raid from Jack's hunters.
The Signal Fire
The boys light signal fires at two different locations, first in the mountain and later on at the beach, in attempts to signal any passing ship to rescue them. In this event, the signal fire becomes a guide for their connection to civilization in Lord of the Flies fire symbolism essay. When the boys keep the signal fire from burning out, it's a sign that they really want to be rescued and returned to the society. As the fire reduces in intensity, the boys keep on getting comfortable with their savagery on the island and losing the desire to be rescued. On this accord, the signal fire becomes a scale for signifying the amount of remaining civilized instinct. Paradoxically, towards the conclusion, a ship is signaled by a fire to the island but the fire was not any of the two signal fires. The fire that signaled the ship was a savagery fire which was lit by Jack's gang in the quest for Ralph's blood.
An imaginary beast representing the primal savagery instinct existing in all human beings frightens the boys. It's only Simon who realizes that they fear the beast because it exists in each one of them. As the savagery of the boys grows, so does their belief in the beast. Towards the conclusion, they are regarding it as a totemic god and leaving sacrifices for it. As evidenced in Lord of the Flies symbolism essay, their behavior tends to exhibit the image of the beast for the more savage they become the more real beast becomes as well.
The Lord of the Flies
The Lord of the Flies is symbolized by the bloody head of the sow that Jacks plants on a spike in the forest glade. In this Lord of the Flies symbolism essay, it is a complex symbol that turns into the most important image when a confrontation emerges with Simon. In their conversation, the head tells Simon that in every human heart lies evil. The head further promises to have fun with him as a prediction imagery of his death in the following chapter when he is attacked by Ralph and Piggy.
Through the lord of the flies, the best physically manifests as a symbol of power and the devil that brings out the "beast" in every human being. Lord of the Flies symbolism essay thesis parallel contextualizes in a biblical perspective the Lord of the Flies with the devil and Simon with Jesus. On the other hand, the author infers the notion "Lord of the Flies" from the biblical inference of Beelzebub, a very powerful demon, the prince hell.
Lord of the Flies is a metaphorical story in which the characters represent an important theme or idea in the following manner as discussed in the essay about symbolism in lord of the flies:
- Ralph signifies leadership, civilization, and order.
- Piggy signifies the intellectual and scientific elements of civilization.
- Jack denotes uncontrollable savagery and thirst for power.
- Simon symbolizes the general goodness in humanity.
- Roger represents bloodlust and brutality on extreme scales.
Analysis from lord of the flies essay symbolism depicts the boys' group as resembling a political state whereby the young boys are seen as the common people and the older as the leaders and ruling class. The co-existence of the group highlights the connection of the older boys to either the savage or civilized instinct. Ralph and Simon are civilized and apply their power in the interests of the young boys and the progress of the group in general. The savage inclined boys like Roger and Jack direct their powers to selfish interests in the event of using the young boys as instruments of their fun.
Almost every essay about symbolism in Lord of the Flies highlights William Golding's mastery in writing literal works. Symbolism in the book shows the author's message and opinion. That man would quickly resort to their violent tendencies when under pressure and how easy it would be for them to lose their innocence. Lord of the Flies symbolism essay reflects on aspects that unite, divide and progress society.
The beast is easy enough: it represents evil and darkness. But does it represent internal darkness, the evil in all of our hearts, even golden boys like Ralph? Or does it represent an external savagery that civilization can save us from?
Now You See It
At first, the beast is nothing more than a product of the boys' imaginations. The smaller boys are afraid of things they see at night; rather than be blindly afraid of The Great Unknown, they give their fear a name and a shape in their minds. You can't defeat a "nothing," but you can hunt and kill a "something." (It's kind of like how Voldemort was a lot scarier before we saw him as Ralph Fiennes.)
And then an actual "something" does show up: the dead parachuting man, who seems to come in response to Ralph's request for a "sign" from the adult world. It's ironic that the best the adults can come up with is a man dead of their own violence: maybe the beast isn't just confined to the island.
Now You Don't
And now we start getting some real insight into the beast. Piggy basically says the beast is just fear of the unknown: "I know there isn't no beast—not with claws and all that, I mean—but I know there isn't no fear, either" (5.99). Simon, on the other hand, insists that the beast is "only us" (5.195). Well, it is: it's a person that fell from the sky. When the twins list off the horrible attributes of the creature they saw, they reveal that it has both "teeth" and "eyes"; Ralph and Jack see it as a giant ape. So the "beast" is a man-who-isn't, the animal side in all of us.
But even that isn't quite what Simon means. He's talking about the beast being the darkness that is inside each and every one of us. If this is true, then, as the Lord of the Flies later suggests, it is absurd to think that the beast is something "you could hunt or kill" (8.337). If it's inside all of us, not only can't we hunt it, but we can never see it, never give it form, and never defeat it.