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Discuss how Golding uses symbols to represent the major themes in Lord of the Flies.

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Zenab Kasmani 11OG Discuss how Golding uses symbols to represent the major themes in Lord of the Flies. Lord of the Flies begins with the crashing of a plane on an uninhabited island and we are left to assume that it was a result of events linked with World War II, as we are not given a reason. We do not know anything about the boys previous to the crash except that they are most probably evacuees. The group of boys attempt to create a functional society by using a system of rules and a chief. The story then revolves around the breakdown of the boys' society gradually getting worse and worse. Although the breakdown happened gradually, there were many signs throughout the book, which indicated the later breakdown. For example when Jack says "Bollocks to the rules" There are many symbols in Lord of the Flies like the conch, the fire and the beast. ...read more.


Piggy is the most intelligent, rational boy in the group, and his glasses represent the power of science and intellectual endeavour in society. This is most clearly demonstrated when Piggy's glasses are used to make fire by intensifying sunlight with their lenses. Thus, when Jack's hunters raid Ralph's camp and steal the glasses, the savages have taken the power to make fire, and Ralph's civilization is left helpless. Another major symbol is the signal fire burns on the mountain, and later on the beach, to attract the notice of passing ships that might be able to rescue the boys. As a result, the signal fire becomes a symbol for the boys' connection to civilization, as "that's all we've got". As long as the fire is well maintained, the boys exhibit a desire to return to society, but when the fire burns low or goes out, the boys lose sight of their desire to be rescued, having accepted their savage lives on the island. ...read more.


(This "fun" foreshadows Simon's death in the following chapter). In this way, the Lord of the Flies becomes both a physical manifestation of the beast, a symbol of the power of evil, and a kind of satanic figure who evokes the beast within each human being. In a reading of the novel's religious iconography, the Lord of the Flies represents the devil, just as Simon represents Christ or a Christ-like figure. " The beast was harmless and horrible". In fact, the name "Lord of the Flies" is a translation of the name of the biblical Beelzebub, a powerful demon in hell sometimes thought to be the devil himself. Each of the major symbols represent a trait of humans, for example the need to be rescued, the evil in all of us, the need for order and civilization and the need for intellect and brains. Lord of the Flies is an allegory for life and this is depicted in the book. ...read more.

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