Conch Symbolism

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Imagine being left on an island with no adults around and your human instincts are put to the final test. In Lord of the Flies, a book written by William Golding, a group of schoolboys are stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere during World War 2. Their air plane got shot down and all the adults died in the aftermath while the schoolboys on the other hand survived. With no adults around, there are no rules and the boys see that as an opportunity to do whatever they want; they have freedom. As they have fun, they soon realized that they want to be rescued and that they should have a leader or chief who is in charge. The chief, whose name is Ralph, sets the rules on the island and everyone respects him and his decisions. As the book advances,…show more content…
Civilization on the island is hanging on to its last thread as the schoolboys turn savage and evil. Golding uses symbolism to show that without the rules and guidelines of society, people eventually turn savage. Golding shows that the conch represents power and order. It is used to call assemblies and only the person with the conch can speak. In the beginning of the book, Ralph and Piggy find each other on the island. As they are sitting on one of the sand banks, Ralph spots something shiny that catches his attention. Piggy and Ralph go to investigate what it is and when they get closer, Piggy announces that it is a conch and says, “We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They’ll come when they hear us--” (16). Ralph listens to what Piggy says and blows the conch. Immediately, schoolboys emerge out of the jungle and stream into the clearing where Ralph and Piggy are. This demonstrates the conch’s power and how the boys obey to the conch when they hear it being blown. It keeps the boys in order and keeps assemblies calm by letting only the person who holds the conch speak. Throughout the book, the conch slowly loses power as the boys become more savage.
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