Symbols in Lord of the Flies (I Got an a on This One!)

Symbols in Lord of the Flies (I Got an a on This One!)

There are lots of signs in our lives that reflect our culture. Even when we do not know it, we are either influenced by signs, or are helping those symbols affect others. Without using meaning, a culture or society can not continue to stand. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies demonstrates how symbols are produced, and how those signs end up being powerful. Three of the signs he uses are the conch, the pig’s head on a stick, and Piggy’s glasses. The very first symbol we stumble upon is the conch shell. It is a stunning shell that Piggy and Ralph discover lying in the lagoon.

Initially, it is simply a natural thing, in consistency with whatever around it. However as soon as Ralph pick’s it up and blows through it, it ends up being a tool, a challenge be utilized by male to dominate nature. Later on, as the boys discover Ralph and Piggy by following the sound of the shell, the conch ends up being symbolic of order. It is this meaning and nothing more that affects the kids to choose Ralph as chief instead of Jack. “Him, him with the conch” (7 ). The next important symbol that holds power over the kids is the pig’s head on a stick. Without it, the island’s evil influence would never have had a mouth to speak through.

Jack and his people set up the pig’s head on a stick as a sacrifice to the beast, the one thing they fear the majority of. When the set it up, it becomes a representation of the beast, then it ends up being the beast itself. Simon, in a sort of daze, recognizes the pig’s head as the repercussion for the boys’ worry. Their fear is the real beast, and Simon talks to the fear by talking to the pig’s head. Throughout this conversation, Simon understands that fear is the supreme opponent of their small society, and that he should fight it. Simon feels threatened when the pig/beast tells him, “If you try to stop us, we’ll do you too” (85 ).

Finally, Piggy’s glasses become a managing force in the kid’s lives on the island by representing initially the capability to start a fire. In the beginning, survival and rescue are all based on the glasses. Then, as the young boys become more savage, the glasses take on a new significance? the capability to prepare the meat and to have light to keep the beast away. On a much deeper level, the glasses represent Piggy’s ability to look ahead, to make strategies. When they break his glasses, none can see into the future extremely far. The young boys can make very few strategies or preparations.

They can not forsee the repercussions of their actions. All in all, the symbols in the book are created by being in the right location at the correct time. Golding utilizes the boys on the island as a little society to show us how symbols in our own, bigger society are produced and have power over our choices. Without signs, society breaks down since individuals have no common beliefs. But, a lot of symbols that go unquestioned, like the signs in Golding’s book are undisputed by the boys, can have too much power over individuals’s choices, and make them make the wrong options in the end.

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