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Lord of the Flies Symbolism Essay

Lord of the Flies symbolism essay takes a look at imagery used by the author while creating the story. The novel was authored by William Golding, a Nobel Prize winner 1983, in literature. It was written in the early 1950s, just after World War II. However, its publication was later in 1954. The plot of the story was significantly affected by the events of the war. Golding wants to show the savage nature of the human being. He utilizes different symbols to attain his objective.

Lord of the Flies Symbolism Essay

The symbolism essay Lord of the Flies, reveals the different aspects of society and how we relate with one another. A look at the plot and the different themes that come out of the story have been highlighted and discussed in detail. They help us understand why the author chose to use specific symbols.

Plot Summary

A group of young schoolboys from Britain get stuck in a tropical island when their plane is shot down during the war. What follows is a series of events that will finally lead to fatalities. They start out working together as a team, and they even elect leaders. However, this does not last for long. When Ralph is elected leader, he makes Jack his assistant. Jack feels that Ralph is not doing a great job and wants to lead himself. He adopts a savage approach that will see him turn the group against Ralph and Piggy and finally causing death.

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The boys believe that there exists a beast in the island that seeks to cause them harm. This leads the group to be divided. Ralph is concerned with looking for shelter and getting help by using the fire to signal for help. Jack and the hunters, on the other hand, had become obsessed with hunting. The novel ends with Simon and Piggy dead, while Ralph is being hunted. They are eventually rescued by a naval ship.

Themes

As one reads the books, three themes can be identified. Lord of the Flies essay symbolism, reveals aspects that we can relate to in today's society. The individual conflict that exists between embracing our savage and civil nature; how one can easily lose their innocence and finally how it is easy to get confused between leading and controlling people.

Symbolism in Lord of the Flies

What is symbolism?

Symbolism is described as the use of people and things in a literature piece such as a novel and poem to express ideas. Lord of the Flies symbolism essay reveals how the other has exploited the use of people and things to communicate aspects that reflect our society. Symbolism is in three different formats: It can be universal, archetype or contextual. The characters and items such as fire have been used to represent ideas the author wants to communicate.

Lord of the Flies symbolism essay thesis revolves around different issues of society such as power, control, unity, technology and value of science as portrayed by Piggy and how divisive leadership can be toxic.

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The Conch Shell

After the plane crash had separated the boys, Ralph and Piggy come across the conch shell lying on the beach and use it to call the group together. In the novel, the conch shell turns into a very prevailing symbol of civilization and order. Afterwards, the conch shell is used in meetings as a control tool for the one who is to speak, whereby, whoever holding it has the command to speak. In this instance, the conch shell graduates from being a symbol to being an instrument of democratic power and political legitimacy. The conch shell seizes being an influential and powerful symbol and instrument among the boys when the sense of civilization fades away and they resort to savagery.

When Ralph is talking about his role in killing Simon, he desperately holds onto the conch shell. Later, when he tries to blow the shell in Jack's camp, the other boys don't pay attention to him and instead throw at stones at him. The remaining sense of civilization amongst the majority of the boys is shredded as Roger rolls a huge rock onto Piggy crushing the shell alongside.

Piggy's Glasses

The most rational and intelligent boy in the group is Piggy and a symbol of intellectual endeavor and science in the society is drawn to his glasses. At the beginning of the book, the symbolism of his glasses is highlighted when they use the lenses from his glasses was used to start a fire by focusing the rays of the sun. Ralph's group is rendered helpless when the glasses are lost in the aftermath of a raid from Jack's hunters.

The Signal Fire

The boys light signal fires at two different locations, first in the mountain and later on at the beach, in attempts to signal any passing ship to rescue them. In this event, the signal fire becomes a guide for their connection to civilization in Lord of the Flies fire symbolism essay. When the boys keep the signal fire from burning out, it's a sign that they really want to be rescued and returned to the society. As the fire reduces in intensity, the boys keep on getting comfortable with their savagery on the island and losing the desire to be rescued. On this accord, the signal fire becomes a scale for signifying the amount of remaining civilized instinct. Paradoxically, towards the conclusion, a ship is signaled by a fire to the island but the fire was not any of the two signal fires. The fire that signaled the ship was a savagery fire which was lit by Jack's gang in the quest for Ralph's blood.

The Beast

An imaginary beast representing the primal savagery instinct existing in all human beings frightens the boys. It's only Simon who realizes that they fear the beast because it exists in each one of them. As the savagery of the boys grows, so does their belief in the beast. Towards the conclusion, they are regarding it as a totemic god and leaving sacrifices for it. As evidenced in Lord of the Flies symbolism essay, their behavior tends to exhibit the image of the beast for the more savage they become the more real beast becomes as well.

The Lord of the Flies

The Lord of the Flies is symbolized by the bloody head of the sow that Jacks plants on a spike in the forest glade. In this Lord of the Flies symbolism essay, it is a complex symbol that turns into the most important image when a confrontation emerges with Simon. In their conversation, the head tells Simon that in every human heart lies evil. The head further promises to have fun with him as a prediction imagery of his death in the following chapter when he is attacked by Ralph and Piggy.

Through the lord of the flies, the best physically manifests as a symbol of power and the devil that brings out the "beast" in every human being. Lord of the Flies symbolism essay thesis parallel contextualizes in a biblical perspective the Lord of the Flies with the devil and Simon with Jesus. On the other hand, the author infers the notion "Lord of the Flies" from the biblical inference of Beelzebub, a very powerful demon, the prince hell.

Characters

Lord of the Flies is a metaphorical story in which the characters represent an important theme or idea in the following manner as discussed in the essay about symbolism in lord of the flies:

  • Ralph signifies leadership, civilization, and order.
  • Piggy signifies the intellectual and scientific elements of civilization.
  • Jack denotes uncontrollable savagery and thirst for power.
  • Simon symbolizes the general goodness in humanity.
  • Roger represents bloodlust and brutality on extreme scales.

Analysis from lord of the flies essay symbolism depicts the boys' group as resembling a political state whereby the young boys are seen as the common people and the older as the leaders and ruling class. The co-existence of the group highlights the connection of the older boys to either the savage or civilized instinct. Ralph and Simon are civilized and apply their power in the interests of the young boys and the progress of the group in general. The savage inclined boys like Roger and Jack direct their powers to selfish interests in the event of using the young boys as instruments of their fun.

Conclusion

Almost every essay about symbolism in Lord of the Flies highlights William Golding's mastery in writing literal works. Symbolism in the book shows the author's message and opinion. That man would quickly resort to their violent tendencies when under pressure and how easy it would be for them to lose their innocence. Lord of the Flies symbolism essay reflects on aspects that unite, divide and progress society.

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