William Golding's Lord Of The Flies Conch Essay

445 Words2 Pages

The conch is a symbol that appears numerous times throughout the book Lord of the Flies. The conch represents the boys’ struggle on the island. In the beginning of the book, the boys still have worth because they believe that they will soon be rescued from the island, just as Piggy comes to the realization at the beginning of the novel that he and Ralph should pick up the conch when they find it because it has value to them. Piggy says to Ralph, “—a conch; ever so expensive,” showing that he sees the value in what others, including Ralph, see as just a shell (16). The conch then serves as a device to bring all of the boys on the island together when Ralph blows it for the first time and all of the boys assemble. The shell’s loud and echoing siren serves as a …show more content…

The blaring sound of the shell when blown signifies the slight bit of authority that the boys have on the island and shows the authority that the holder of the conch has over the other boys. Also, as the boys establish during one of their first meetings, the conch can serve as a device to keep sanity and order in the group. The boys’ bestow this job on the conch by saying that whoever is holding the conch at any given time has the right to talk and everyone else must silently listen. As the book progresses, we see that the boys take great care of the conch, and consistently use it to re-implement order in the group when needed. At the end of the novel, when Piggy dies while holding the conch, the conch breaks. This symbolizes how the boys are feeling at this moment in the book: hopeless and broken. The conch goes from a beautiful shell that brought the boys together and provided them with order, to a powder that has been broken due to a vital member of the group’s death. Additionally, with the conch being gone, the power that it once provided is also gone. Jack is overjoyed because he can now gain the power that he has been waiting for since the beginning of the novel when Ralph was elected

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