In the novel Lord of the Flies, the author William Golding relies heavily on symbolism to convey his view that if law and order are removed from civilised society, savagery, destruction and chaos will occur. Lord of the Flies was first published in 1954, nine years after world war two. Golding's experiences of war and destruction, led him to examine the conflict between two impulses that live within all humans. There is the instinct to live peacefully and obey rules, and value goodness, and there is also the impulse to grab power through violence, and controlling others through fear. With this, he is trying to give us an insight of his view of the consequence of lack of civilisation by in the text when we see how Ralph's tribe slowly breaks apart.
The use of symbolism of the conch and glasses represents civilisation which are made up by law and order. In the beginning of the text the conch is blown by Ralph to call an assembly. “I'll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he's speaking … And he wont be interrupted. Except by me.” This shows the order that is put into place in their society. But the lack of consequences of breaking the rules were not really enforced into place and due to this, slowly structure of civlisation falls apart. Jack only enforces the that there will be consequences of breaking the rules in the beginning of the text “We'll have rules! ... Lots of rules! Then when anyone breaks ém-”, but he ends up breaking the rules which shows the outcomes of not enforcing the rules and the punishments of breaking the laws by Ralph the leader. When civlisation has completely broken, this is shown at the end of the text when the conch that represents, order is destroyed by Roger, a savage who throws a boulder at Piggy who holds the conch. “The conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.” The use of the verb exploded shows how it is a significant event because the last thing that represents order is taken away like it never existed, law and order. The conch is important as a symbol because it represents the civilisation that existed but slowly disappears. The finally moment when the audience knows that any order existed is when the shell is destroyed.
Another important symbol in Lord of the Flies are the painted faces. It is used to enforce the message of the importance of law and order and the effect of what happens to a society when law and order are removed from civilised society. The outcome is that savagery, destruction and chaos will occur. The first reference to painted faces is when Jack paints his face to camouflage into the environment so he can hunt a pig. Jack's motive's shows that he wants to change himself and by covering something over his face it is considered as a mask because people can't see what is underneath. Also, the paint looked very unBritish and looked quite scary and unusual. Due to the mask, Jack has a feeling of power because he gains attention when people look at his face. Also due to the extreme markings and colour, they sense fear, because it stands out. “Beside the pool his sinewy body held up a mask that drew their eyes and appalled them...He began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling.” Shows how the mask can cause other people to act differently to how they usually would because lack of society restrictions and also being unrecognisable causing them to act savagery. The painted mask has a metaphorical and literal meaning because the boys use it to hide their own identity because they can't be identitfied and also the mask can be used to hide from and lose themselves into another person. “The mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness.”, shows that people hide behind a mask so it prevents people to see things about themselves. Like Jack, the mask freed him from the