The Conch Shell In Lord Of The Flies

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Imagine being stranded on an unknown island as a young child with no adult supervision and a very slim chance of ever being rescued. This is precisely what happens in Lord of the Flies by William Golding, when British schoolboys are stranded on a remote island without adults. The boys struggle to maintain order and hope to be rescued. Throughout the novel, the conch shell represents order and civilization, and later, the transformation from civilized schoolboys to savages. In the beginning, the conch shell represents the boys ordered civilization they create. First, the conch shell brings the boys together and helps them establish a leader and their own form of government. Piggy and Ralph find the conch on the beach, and Ralph is the one…show more content…
First, as the boys become less and less civilized, they try to cling to the conch as a way of saving themselves from savagery. After Simon is murdered, Ralph holds onto the conch as he tries to justify what they boys have just done to an innocent person. “At length Ralph got up and went to the conch. He took the shell caressingly with both hands and knelt, leaning against the trunk” (156). This shows the boys see the conch as a representation of civilized behavior and don’t want to let it go, as it would be symbolizing letting civilization slip away. Second, most of the boys switch over to Jack’s tribe and no longer respond to the sound of the conch. After the boys begin believing there is a beast on the island, all but Ralph, Piggy, Samneric, and some littleuns join Jack’s tribe of hunters and become unresponsive to Ralph and the conch. “Ralph put the conch to his lips and began to blow. The savages guarding the neck muttered among themselves but made no motion. They then sniggered a bit and one gestured at Ralph with his spear” (175). At this point, the boys who join Jack’s tribe are transitioning to savages and no longer respond to the call of civilization. Lastly, the conch shell is shattered to pieces. When Ralph, Piggy, Sam, and Eric go to confront Jack and his tribe about returning Piggy’s glasses they’d stolen and to discuss the importance of a
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