Conch Shell In Lord Of The Flies

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For many centuries in history, humanity has struggled to establish civilizations and societies in new environments. In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, the conch shell is a central symbol of mankind’s struggle to build a civilization that is necessary for the survival of a group of young boys stranded in an unknown world. The conch shell plays various roles, symbolizes important concepts, and produces many effects that impact their lives. This symbolic item had many significant purposes throughout the novel as the boys changed from a civilized behavior to savagery. In the beginning, the conch shell is used as a tool in calling assemblies and governing the boys’ meetings. All of the boys gather together on the beach when the…show more content…
This rule was first proposed by Ralph, who said, “‘I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking. ... And he won’t be interrupted. Except by me.’” (33) The establishment of this rule gave structure to the meetings, giving the conch a great significance that symbolized freedom of speech to the boys. For example, Simon expressed his opinion of fear during an assembly when Ralph permitted him to speak as he was holding the conch in his hands. This freedom also applies to the littluns because they finally have the opportunity to speak up in front of many boys older than them and have a say in the assemblies. Even though the conch shell provides positive effects towards the structure of the civilization and allows individual expression, many boys do not often listen to the person holding the conch. At times, some of them tell the person speaking to sit down or be quiet. An example of this occurrence is Piggy, who often has to shout and argue to be able to speak in a meeting. The disregard for the conch shell is further deepened as Jack leaves Ralph’s camp to form a tribe of his own, which many boys joining soon after. Overall, the conch shell gave all of the boys more rights, allowing more problems to be addressed and providing the basis of cooperation on the
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