Essay On The Conch Shell In Lord Of The Flies

1951 Words8 Pages
In Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses items and people to symbolize many different things. These symbolic things include Piggy’s glasses, Simon’s epilepsy, the Lord of the Flies, and arguably the most important symbol, the conch shell. The conch shell was first found in the water by Piggy, who then comes up with the idea of using the conch as a blow horn to call for meetings. Throughout Lord of the Flies, the conch shell becomes not only associated with Ralph and his leadership, but with Piggy and his intuitive and wise ideas and Jack and his dictator-like, irresponsible authority. The conch shell, representing law and order, assisted in the election of Ralph as chief and ultimately determines the future of the island. However, as time…show more content…
Ralph never acknowledges that Piggy was the first to point out the conch shell and explained to Ralph what it was. Ralph, instead of giving credit to Piggy for the idea of the conch shell, blows through the conch and then takes charge. Ralph begins giving orders and proceeds to take on the role of chief. Ralph’s authority was made possible because “there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch.” (22). The conch shell plays a big part in Ralph’s authority and order. His leadership skills, along with the conch by his side, is what made the other kids on the island listen and idolize him. Golding glorifies the power of Ralph and his conch shell in order to represent control, which is important to the ongoing order and regulation of the boys throughout their time on the island. Without the shell, there would be no order among the lives of the boys on the uninhabited island. In addition to Ralph promoting the power of the conch, Jack also agrees and emphasizes that in order to run a society, there must be a strong and rational set of rules that needs to be followed. When the boys made a fire with Piggy’s specs,
Open Document