Go back to the Golding page for more texts and other resources.

The Symbols of evil in Lord Of The Flies

The complex network of symbolism in William Goldings' Lord of The Flies.

The Symbols of Evil
A cool breeze flows across your damp face, the smell of overly ripe fruit fills your nose as you step onto the beach. You see a platform enclosed by a number of small logs. The platform, which consists of a large piece of driftwood, holds a large yet delicate conch shell smooth and gleaming in the midday sun. It seems to stand out from it surroundings, like it has a demeaning authority which need not be spoken of, just respected. You wonder why it is here and of its power, as you step back, and close the book.
Has there ever been a time when you?ve read a book and understood it but didn?t get why all these strange occurrences were happening in the story? That is how the book Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding is until you learn about the numerous symbols in the book and what they mean. Continue reading to learn of three main symbols in this book what they mean and how they affect the story.
In the first chapter you find that there has been a plane crash on this island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Piggy instructs Ralph how to use the conch like a horn to call any other survivors. They end up having a large group of boys ranging from just out of toddler-hood to early teens. There is a boys choir on the island and the lead boy Jack Merridew thinks that he should be the boss of everyone, so when Ralph is voted chief, Jack is angry. Ralph says that Jack can have charge of the choir, Jack decides that his choir will be hunters, they are also in charge of keeping the signal fire going at all times incase a ship passes by. As Jack and his hunters are slaying one of the wild pigs on the island a ship passes by they had let the fire go out and everyone is mad. This is the very beginning of Jacks rebellion, which will turn into a big ugly problem before the tale is over. Now that you have read a brief summary of the first half I can continue with the meaning of symbols through out the book.
The conch shell that is first found by Ralph and Piggy is a great sign of authority, thought, and organization through out the book. Later in the book Piggy is killed by Jack?s tribe, the boulder with which he is killed also breaks the conch. I think that the death of Piggy and the breaking of the conch are the point that just makes everyone cross the line over into complete insanity. The conch held the power of civilization and as long as it survived Ralph would be able to have a few people stay with him, now that it was gone everyone just started doing whatever they wanted. Linked into the power of the conch was the ocean. Even though it is mostly overlooked I think that it was a very important symbol in the book. It was always described as if it was alive, and it was the only obstacle blocking the path home for them. It was the true source of evil besides their minds. It was the great underlying force that drove them mad.
The great symbol in this story was the Lord of the Flies or the pig head that was stuck on a stick as an offering to the imaginary beast that terrifies the children?s mind and haunts their dreams. The Lord of the Flies as the slightly insane heat stroked Simon calls it represents the devil in its state of decay and putrification. As the story unfolds it becomes more evil and darker until you?re wondering if anyone is going to survive at all.
This was a terribly dark and disturbing novel, and I wonder about the man who wrote it. The symbolism works wonderfully well together, but the ending doesn?t fit. You have now learned about a small amount of the immense net work of symbolism that William Golding wrote of in this book what they mean and how they affect the story. Remember, if you?re ever stuck on an island, don?t hunt pigs.

Authors | Quotes | Digests | Submit | Interact | Store

Copyright © Classics Network. Contact Us