24 Feb 2015
Lord of the Flies
Throughout the novel
Lord of the Flies,
William Golding demonstrates various uses of symbolism to express that humanity is truly evil. Through the beast, the conch, and fire Golding explains that humanity is corrupt. He uses the beast to express fear, while the conch symbolizes authority and fire symbolizes rescue as well as destruction.
To begin, the beast inflicts fear upon the children. This fear is what Jack strives for in order to maintain stable and supreme power amongst the society. By keeping everyone in fear, it gives Jack the upperhand to act as if he is brave and bravery is what most people would look for in a leader. “The beast is a hunter… we couldn’t kill it.”
(Golding 126) Jack says this to notify everyone that the beast is out there among them, watching and waiting. Also to give the society an understanding that the beast is somewhat invincible, it cannot be killed and it cannot be seen. “They lay there listening, at first with no doubt but then with terror to the description the twins breathed at them.”
(Golding 99) This is another quote where Golding mentions the beast as a form of fear, by describing it as terror or terrifying.
Authority, the conch symbolizes this trait from the very start of the novel. “And another thing. We can’t have everybody talking at once. We’ll have to have some
‘hands up’ like at school. He held the conch before his face and glanced round the
mouth. Then ill give him the conch.” (Golding 33) This quote explains how the conch gives authority to anyone who wields it. But authority comes with a price, the price of responsibility and Jack wanted authority just to have it. He wanted it not knowing how to be a true leader, he wanted it just for the power. With Piggy’s death, the conch is shattered, signifying that order has left the island; therefore anarchy is prevailed. “See?
See? Thats what you’ll get! I meant that! There isn’t a tribe for you anymore! The conch is gone I’m chief.” (Golding 176) This quote explains how society is falling apart revealing that Jack truly only wanted authority just to have the superior power among the island dwellers.
Moving forward, destruction as well as rescue is what fire symbolizes throughout the novel. Fire can mean destruction for obvious reasons but one in particular is in the end of the book, the entire island becomes engulfed in fire. “His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning…