What Is The Symbolism In Lord Of The Flies

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Symbolism plays a significant role in Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Lord of the Flies is a novel about how a group of schoolboys, who crashed on a deserted island, eventually transition from civilized humans to savage beings. Several symbols are displayed throughout the novel; however, each of the main characters themselves, Ralph, Piggy, and Jack, are the most important examples. Ralph and the conch shell represent order, Piggy and his glasses represent science, and Jack and his mask represent savagery. The theme of civilization vs. savagery is exemplified through each of the boys and their objects and is a predominant theme throughout the book. First of all, Ralph, the main protagonist of the story, along with the conch shell, represents…show more content…
In Chapter Four of Lord of the Flies, Golding writes, “He looked in astonishment, no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger. He spilt the water and leapt to his feet, laughing excitedly. Beside the pool his sinewy body held up a mask that drew their eyes and appalled them. He began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling. He capered toward Bill, and the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness.” (63-64). Jack’s actions after he puts on the mask foreshadow his savage ways later in the book. Being “liberated from shame and self-consciousness” signifies Jack being liberated from all aspects of civilization. In addition, the mask takes away all of his fears and enables Jack to kill the pig, when before he put on the mask, he could not. Throughout the novel, mainly in Chapter Nine, Jack and his group chant, “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood! Do him in!” (Golding 152.) Jack’s gruesome chant shows that he has already turned into a savage because it wasn’t necessary for him to sing such vile words, but he did it anyway. Finally, right after Jack kills Simon in a frenzy, he says, “He came – disguised. He may come again even though we gave him the head of our kill to eat.” (Golding 160). Clearly, Jack and his mask
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