The Conch In Lord Of The Flies

1217 Words5 Pages
To Hunt or Kill:
The role of the conch as a symbol in Lord of the Flies Many authors rely on symbols as literary devices to convey themes and underlying meanings within their works. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, the conch is a symbol of unity, bringing the boys together at the beginning of the novel, and it is used to establish rules and a society among the boys. William Golding uses the conch as a tool to express the theme of good versus evil through the relationship between Jack and Ralph. In addition, because of the organization and civil habits that emerge when Ralph has the conch, Golding can display a connection between Ralph and morality. When Jack begins his own tribe and spreads savage behaviours across the island, the
…show more content…
An example of this conflict is when Jack speaks over the conch during an assembly. “Ralph could no longer ignore his speech. The blood was hot in his cheeks. ‘You haven’t got the conch,’ he said. ‘Sit down’ (Golding 103). The conflict that arises when Jack speaks over the conch shows the clash between the organized personality of Ralph, who wants the conch to be used to create a system, and the unpredictable personality of Jack, who does not believe that the conch is necessary. When Jack calls an assembly using the conch, he tries to convince the group that Ralph is a bad leader. “‘He isn’t a proper chief.’ Jack clutched the conch to him. ‘He’s a coward himself’” (Golding 129). The conflict that arrives when Jack blows the conch, which is quite taboo, as the conch had only ever been blown by Ralph before, shows Jack’s arrogance and disregard for the rules. His attempt to overthrow Ralph as a leader represents evil and savagery attempting to overthrow good and civilization. The final and most notable good versus evil conflict in the novel is the final hunt for Ralph, when he has no supporters left on the island, and Jack’s tribe is hunting him down. “He knelt among the shadows and felt his isolation bitterly. They were savages it was true; but they were human, and the ambushing fears of the deep night were coming on” (Golding 191). The conch is gone, and evil has taken over the island and over the boys in Jack’s tribe, who have become murderous toward Ralph, who is the good that contradicts their evil. This demonstrates Golding’s theme of good versus evil in the novel and how it relates to the presence of the conch, or lack
Open Document