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lord of the flies

The Symbolism of the Conch in Lord of the Flies
Symbolism is a powerful literary technique used frequently by authors to express their ideas indirectly and creatively. Symbolism is defined as an object or idea that represents more than the object or idea itself. For example, in Antigone, Creon symbolizes pride and the inability to listen to reason, among other things. William Golding utilizes symbolism in Lord of the Flies by letting the conch represent civilization, power and safety.
To begin with, the conch represents civilization. "I'll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he's speaking"(31). Ralph makes this comment as he holds the conch and does his best to create order. Ralph keeps in mind that there are no grownups on the island and that the boys must maintain order themselves. He does so by telling the boys that whoever has the desire to speak, that is whom he will give the conch. Directly after Ralph speaks these words, Jack follows with, We'll have rules!"… "Lots of rules!"(31). Ralph's comment excites Jack so much that Jack follows by requesting the formation of rules. This shows that at one point, the conch affected even Jack and gave him the urge for civilization. Ralph also uses the conch after he pursued the mob of boys to the hilltop in an attempt to create a signal fire. As Ralph reaches the boys he tells them, "We ought to have more rules. Where the conch is, that's a meeting"(39). The boys began to slip out o!
f Ralph's grasp in their flight to the mountain, but Ralph returns to the clutches of civilization with the aide of the conch.
The conch also symbolizes power. When the boysfirst land on the island, they are scattered. Ralph signals to the boys by sounding the conch continuously until the majority of them arrive at the platform. This shows that the conch has the power to bring the boys together. Not long f…

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