Essay On The Conch Shell In Lord Of The Flies By William Golding

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How does one shell manage to become the end of a civilization, treasured among it’s people? Imagine a world with no adults, no females, and a tropical island awaiting. Several children find themselves in this situation in the Lord of the Flies. Alone on this prolific island, the boys create a new world. One that is full of hope, seemingly different from the life in which they came from, fully engrossed in a war. A small shell becomes a beacon of hope, however changes to represent more than that. In the book, the conch shell greatly morphs from a symbol of civilization, to a symbol of savagery. The development of the shell is long process. The conch is found on the island, nothing more than a shell. Piggy, who comes to represent their culture in an logical sense, describes how much more it really is. "'S'right. It's a shell! I seen one like that before. On someone's back wall. A conch he called it. He used to blow it and then his mum would come. It's ever so valuable-'" (Golding 15). Golding reveals the shell as a tool that can be used to call the boys together when paired with intellect. Ralph, who is the source of physical strength and goodness within the group, gathers all the children allowing for survival. It is significant that Piggy informs Ralph how to use it, because in doing…show more content…
"Exposure to the sun had bleached the yellow and pink to near-white, and transparency. Ralph felt a kind of affectionate reverence for the conch, even though he had fished the thing out of the lagoon himself" (Golding 78). This quote shows how the shell was a symbol of all good, and sheer innocence. The shell has only brought the children survival and order. At this point Ralph recognizes all the great things the conch shell has brought to them, or allowed them to do. The reader as well, can recognize the shell as exquisite beauty, order, and justice
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