Books and Movies Reviews

Symbolism in Lord of the Flies

Symbolism is the practice of investing things with a symbolic meaning, or by expressing the invisible or intangible by means of visible or sensuous representations; in other words, discussing or explaining a broader, more general topic by linking it symbolically with a specific event in a literary work. Time after time and novel after novel, authors since the beginning of literature have used symbolism to present ideas, concepts, emotions, moods, and many other feelings. Symbolism involves the quest for reality beyond the physical world. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses parallelism and symbolism to tell a story about "boys on an island" that create their own society to survive alone. The island itself is the most significant symbol in the novel because it represents mankind in its entirety, and the boys on the island represent a microcosm of humans. Golding uses these boys as an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature. Three of the most important things in a society are government, higher faith, and intelligence, all of which Golding addresses in his microcosm.
It may be noted that a good part of Golding's novel analyzes the negative consequences of complete permissiveness in human beings. However, the foundation of every successful society is a strong government. Conversely, a failing society on the verge of destruction is probably functioning on a corrupt government. In Lord of the Flies, Ralph represents the typical democratic leader that is most likely to aid the boys' survival and rescue from the island, supported by appearance and popularity. Despite the fact that other boys were more qualified to be the chief, they all noticed that "there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch." This powerful conch becomes a symbol of order as…

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