Conch Shell Lord Of The Flies Symbolism Essay

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This is a novel about the uprise and downfall of a new civilization dictated by one symbol. Symbols can be metaphors for the real world, and play a pivotal role in the novel’s plot. They are not signs that are put there by accident, they are well thought out and are used to make a statement. William Golding stresses the importance of symbols and illustrates how and why they are used. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding depicts the conch shell as the most meaningful symbol in the novel because it represents civilization. The conch shell is an important symbol in the novel because it is a significant step to establishing a civilization. As the boy’s plane crashes, Piggy and Ralph are lost and are left wondering where the other boys are. They…show more content…
As Jack decides he does not desire an organized civilization, he breaks away and chants, “Conch! Conch! Shouted Jack. We don’t need the conch anymore” (98). Jack not believing in organization, creates hostility among the group. He is willing to leave a civilized society behind, and possibly trade it in for disorder. Without the presence of the shell, the boys have no rules to live by, and no effective way of communicating. As Jack explains the rules of his reckless society, he declares, “The conch doesn't count at this end of the island” (137). Jack officially separates himself, and over half the boys from civilization. It is no longer necessary to hold the conch to speak, allowing the possibility for disorder to arise. The boys are now able to do whatever they incline, without anybody confronting them. As Ralph’s civilization diminishes, Jack’s flourishes as he proclaims, “See? See? That’s what you’ll get! I meant that! There isn’t a tribe for you anymore! The conch is gone-” (161). The destruction of the conch symbolizes the end of rules, order, and respect. Jack's barbaric tribe thrives on death and destruction, the antithesis of a civilized society. Lord of the Flies is a novel about the rise and fall of a civilization, and how a symbol can dictate the difference between success and failure. A civilized society thrives when respect, and order are
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