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The Use of Symbolism in Lord of the Flies Essay

Lord of the Flies is a famous novel written by William Golding. When you read this book, you will understand that it touches upon the problem of civilization. The author compares civilization with savagery with the help of numerous symbols. It is easier to describe important issues or personalities in a covert way. Of course, it is not easy to read a novel written according to the rules of symbolism. Very few people are able to understand the actual idea of a book, because they cannot decipher its symbols. When you want to read a book of this kind, you ought to train your critical thinking skills. Lord of the Flies is rich in interesting symbols. Let us observe them in detail.

The first symbol is a conch shell. In my opinion, the shell is a symbol of democracy and civilization. This shell is used to announce meetings. A meeting is an attribute of a civilized society, because people are able to share their points of view about different problems.

When one wants to speak during the meeting, he should hold this conch. It is a symbol of equality, because everyone is able to speak when he holds the shell. At first, children lived according to the standards of a civilized society. When they broke the conch, their civilization stopped existing. They turned into savaged.

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Piggy’s glasses can be called a symbol of intelligence. Our civilization is characterized with scientific achievements and deep philosophic thoughts. Piggy symbolizes scientists and those people who have sober mind. His glasses are used for making fire. Consequently, children used science for their advantage. When they turned into savages, they broke these glasses and could not make the signal fire anymore.

It is possible to say that this fire is a symbol of hope. They believed that it would help them leave this uninhabited island and return home. The signal fire was the most important thing for civilized children. As long as this fire burnt, they could hope for the rescue.

The Beast is another important symbol. It is possible to observe it from different sides. I can say that it symbolizes the savage side of a human being. The boys began to believe in the Beast when they lost their link with the civilized society. Evidently, fear is caused by ignorance. When one knows nothing, he believes in demonic things. Then, the Beast is a devil if we look at this issue from the point of view of religion. Finally, the Beast is a symbol of a totalitarian society. A totalitarian society is based on fear. Therefore, the Lord of the Flies was used by Jack to build his own society of this kind.

Every child symbolized something. For example, Ralph is a symbol of civilization. Piggy is a symbol of intelligence and sober mind. Jack and Roger represent the evilest sides of the human character.

They symbolize bloodlust, anger, hate, jealousy, brutality, etc. We can say that the littluns play the role of the common people who follow their leader. The older boys play the role of the nobility and influential ruling classes of the human society.

Lord of the Flies is a bright example of the excellent use of symbolism in literature.

William Golding managed to create a great story about the children who appeared on the uninhabited island.

Every important element of the novel is a symbol of the definite trait of character and concept. It is possible to find dozens of symbols in this book but I have focused on the most important ones.

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