Symbols in the Novel

             William Golding uses many objects as symbols throughout the novel "Lord of the Flies". The Conch is a symbol for all the values and morals bread into civilized man. Amazed by the appearance and ability of the conch they gave it a kind of supreme power letting it structure their lives. They pass the conch to one another to speak, therefore it keeps order among them. The conch acted as an equalizer because anyone who had it was given the right to express themselves. .

             The children were mesmerized by the power the conch gives its possessor. When the first meeting is called and they all decide to have a chief Ralph is voted for, mostly because he has the conch. Their voting cries were, "Him with the shell", "Ralph, Ralph", and "Let him be chief with the trumpet thing."(22) The children had chosen a person they had known for less than a day, not because he showed great leadership skills but because he possessed the conch. This is just one example of the conch giving a power to its' carrier. Another happens at dusk when all the kids are having a feast after jack kills the first pig and Ralph decides to call an assembly. "He faced the place of assembly and put the conch to his lips. The others were waiting for this and came straight away." (passage from p.78). Even when it is near dark and the children are in the middle of having a party the power of the conch causes them to drop what their doing and sit upon the platform. These British children were brought up under a monarchy and were raised to obey the power of the king. Although there is nobody to punish them for disobeying the authority of the conch they obey because civilized people are raised to want some kind of structure.

             The conch gave them a civilized order much like a school house. During meetings the kids would all wait their turn to speak and wouldn't talk unless they had the conch. It was as though they had their mothers watching over them, telling them to be polite and that interrupting was rude.

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