William Golding uses the conch shell found on the beach as a symbol of democracy, which was also a power of speech. The conch shell is commonly used throughout the novel when someone wanted to say something, as the object is a signal as to identify who is speaking. The conch shell also represented the rules regarding speaking while at school eg hand up to talk, "I'll pass the conch on to the next person then he can speak". Golding used the symbol of the conch shell to demonstrate the civilisation on the island and that the school boys wanted rules and structures to follow with the aim of being rescued. Without any adults or supervision they elected Ralph as he was the one who blew the conch shell and provided the authority, which most of the boys respected. The conch shell symbol which Golding used further developed the idea of civilisation vs savagery and he has embedded the idea of civilisation and the effect it has on the boys during the beginning of the novel. Without civilisation in the world today, there wouldn't be fairness between people and there wouldn’t be any rules therefore it would mean that people wouldn't have any laws to follow.
Another symbol which William Golding used in Lord of the Flies is the symbol of the signal fire where the transition from civilised to savage instincts begins. Ralph as the leader establishes that there must be signal fire, as this might attract attentions from any nearby ships or aeroplanes for them to get rescued of the remote island. The boys all worked together to keep the fire going, however as the novel continues the boys become less interested in tending the fire and more interested in gathering and hunting for food. The signal fire ends up going out and meanwhile a potential rescue plane flies over the Island. This is when the