The Theme Of Symbolism In Lord Of The Flies

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Eric Burdon once stated, ‘Inside each of us, there is the seed of both good and evil. It’s a constant struggle as to which one will win. And one cannot exist without the other.’ In William Golding’s book Lord of the Flies, a group of kids crash onto a desolate island. During their time on this island, the young men experience living in a rebellious society. With each of them having a darkness in their heart to turn savage. Through the beast, the conch shell, and the lord of the flies, Golding illustrates the struggle of the evil within.

A significant symbol in the novel is the beastie. To the young men, the beastie is a physical, frightening animal. In any case, the beastie is only their very own portrayal of unreasonableness and brutality. As the young men were quibbling about the beastie, Simon went to an acknowledgment who the beastie really was. He thought, ‘what I mean is…maybe it’s just us’ (126). Here Simon makes the presumption that the beastie is really the viciousness inside themselves. They are so scared of losing themselves and transforming into antiquated savages. Along these lines, as a method for dealing with stress, they formed this dread into a physical animal (for example a snake, phantom, or amphibian creature). From their first minutes on this island, the young men had built up a conviction that development had disintegrated into ruins. Along these lines, when the young men found a carcass of a dead pilot, they trusted it was the beastie. They guaranteed ‘it was hairy. There was something moving behind its head- – wings. The monster moved to …’ (142). Here Simon has gone to an acknowledgment that the beastie may surely act naturally. In this way, the beastie speaks to their dread of one another. They are the main beings that can hurt themselves.

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Also, the conch shell is another important symbol. The conch represents all that doesn’t exist on the island. It’s a representation of authority and power. As Ralph and Piggy were wandering around the beach, Ralph discovered a conch shell in the water. Piggy suggested “we can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They’ll come when they hear us-” (16). Here the conch shell is proposed as a gathering signal. This would potentially gather all of the boys on the island. All of the boys will respond to whoever wields the conch. Jack and his tribe raided Ralph’s encampment for Piggy’s specs. However, Piggy questioned their motives. He exclaimed, “I thought they wanted the conch” (168). Piggy thought they had wanted to steal the conch due to it being a symbol of power. Whoever wields it would gain respect and power. Yet, they decided to steal Piggy’s specs instead. Their motives show that they no longer care for authority and power. They simply care to satisfy their savage needs.

Another important symbol is the Lord of the Flies. The Lord of the Flies is the embodiment of evil within all of us. While conversing with Simon the Lord of the Flies threatens that “we shall do you? See? Jack and Roger and Maurice and Robert and Bill and Piggy and Ralph. Do you. See?” (144). Here, the Lord of the Flies threatens that if Simon doesn’t give in to evil he will be betrayed by those he trusts. As Simon is the antithesis of the Lord of the Flies, he threatens that evil will always prevail in the presence good. Good shall fall and evil shall reign in its place. During Simon’s confrontation with The Lord of the Flies, he questioned, “You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?” (143) As the physical manifestation of evil, the Lord of the Flies claims that there is an essence of evil within Simon too. The actions and decisions that people make are driven by their own evil intentions. Everything results from the evil within us. Evil makes the gears of life spin round and round.

Throughout the story of Lord of the Flies, there is a major theme of symbolism. The three most powerful symbols are the beastie, the conch, and the Lord of the Flies. Everyone’s good intentions are just a facade for their true selves. Good is just evil in disguise. Evil lives deep within each and every one of us.      


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