What Is The Conch Shell Symbolize In Lord Of The Flies

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William Golding writes a novel called Lord of the Flies shortly after the end of World War II. The novel tells the reader about a group of English boys who were in a plane crash and are now stuck on an island during a time of nuclear warfare. They discover that the island has no “grownups” and thus, they try to build a society of their own in order to survive. However, as time passes by, things begin to spiral out of control because in reality they are just little boys stuck on a stranded island where there are no adults to guide them. Even though they are rescued, it’s almost useless because they have lost almost all of their humanity. Golding shows that children are not only innocent, but they are also equally savage by nature and that could…show more content…
“The central symbol itself, the ‘lord of the flies,’ is, like any true symbol, much more than the sum of its parts; but some elements of it may be isolated” (Epstein 108). One of the symbols used in the conch shell which Ralph and Piggy discover in the first chapter. Ralph uses it to summon all the boys on the island. Then, all the boys agree that whoever holds the conch shell has the right to speak. When this happens, the conch shell becomes a crucial symbol of civilization and order in the novel. This is because the shell succeeds in governing the boys’ meetings. By adhering to the rules set regarding the conch shell, it seems that the boys still maintain their civilized way of life back where there is the existence of government, rules, and laws. However, as time passes by, the boys begin to give in to savagery. The conch shell begins to lose its significance as the savagery starts taking over. The evidence of this can be seen in chapter nine when Ralph tries to convince the other boys not to join Jack’s tribe by using the conch shell as a symbol of authority. Jack denies the shell’s significance by saying that it does not count on his side of the island. From here it can be depicted that without adult supervision to impose the laws and rules that the boys have created, somehow they would ignore the laws and rules, and reveal their savagery
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