Conch Shell Symbolism Analysis

1601 Words7 Pages
In Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses both items and people to symbolize many different things. Such symbols include Piggy’s glasses, Simon’s epilepsy, the Lord of the Flies and arguably the most important symbol, the conch shell. The conch shell is used to represent an orderly civilization with rational ideas. However, as time progresses, the conch shell loses its power and eventually becomes only a reminder of how rational the boys used to be. Once the conch shell shatters, the era of rationality completely ends, marking the beginning of a complete savage takeover. The conch at first represented a democracy and power, but in the end, it represented destruction and showed the evil in human beings.
From the very beginning of the novel, more specifically Chapter 1, the conch shell is used as a blow horn to symbolize order, control, regulation, democracy, and power among a group of boys on an uninhabited island. A conch shell was discovered in the waters by Piggy and Ralph. Piggy then came up with the idea of using the conch shell as a blow horn to signal the boys on the island to join a meeting. Although Piggy was the first to point out the conch shell and explain to Ralph what it was, Piggy was not credited. Ralph, instead of giving credit to Piggy for the idea of the conch shell, blows through the conch and then takes charge. Ralph, with the conch shell in his hand, begins giving orders and proceeds to take on the role of the chief because he was the
…show more content…
The conch shell symbolizes not only the importance of a strong authority, but also represents the evil in human nature. Without any central power and authority, humans naturally turn savage and do whatever they can to gain the power they desire. As the leadership in Ralph diminishes, Jacks evilness overcomes the whole island, essentially turning everyone into savages. William Golding purposely shatters the conch to illustrate that without proper order, there will be no rationality left within the group of
Open Document