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Lord of the Flies

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English Patty OBrien

Final Draft 10/22/05

Lord of the Flies

In the novel The Lord of the Flies there are many different objects that represent the use of symbolism. Symbolism means, investing things with a symbolic meaning. William Golding used this method because it makes you think deeper into the story as you read, not just being there. Some examples of symbolism in the novel are the conch, the beast, the pig head, and Piggy’s glasses. Each symbol represents a very important aspect of the story. In many novels today, there are so many different thoughts and opinions on what each symbol represents

In the beginning of the story “the conch” was created by the characters as a symbol of authority and power of whoever was in possession of it. The person who controlled the conch during the assemblies was treated with respect. All listened to what they had to say. The conch was also a form of communication. “We can use this to call others. Have a meeting.” (Golding,Pg.16) This would attract attention when someone wanted to gather everyone together. In the beginning of the story when they found the conch, they decide right away that they will use it to call all of the others.

The symbol of “the beast” was not something that you could touch or see. The author brought the beast into the story to symbolize the fear that was formed by all of the things that they were most scared of. “He says he saw the beastie, the snake-thing, and will it come back tonight?” (Golding, Pg. 36) The dark, the unknown, not being rescued and no adults to help them were all symbolized by the beast. It also represented the idea of the plot and evil happenings that could be blamed on the beast. The never ending search for the beast gave them something to challenge each other with. They didn’t know what it looked like and didn’t know if it really ever existed

The “pigs head” who is “Lord of the Flies” was another example of symbolism used by Golding. The title of this book now seems to make sense. The pig head commanding all of the flies that swarmed around it. “Pigs head on a stick.” (Golding, Pg. 142) This represented a force or a tool that the boys used to ward off the beast. This also showed evil and strength, cutting the pigs head off propping it up on a stick showing all that passed by.

Piggy’s glasses symbolized hope and power. “His specs-use them as burning glasses!” (Golding, Pg. 40)

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