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

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Introduction

Discuss how Golding uses symbols to represent the major themes in Lord of the Flies Lord of the flies is a story that begins in the aftermath of a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean during an unnamed war in which a group of English schoolboys are isolated on what they assume to be an island, under no adult supervision they are left to 'fend for themselves' and fight their own battles. As the story unfolds the boys develop their own little society in which they try to include rules and order, but, each with their own ideas of right and wrong and sometimes totally different priorities, disagreements arise, their little community collapses and the boys are thrown into a world of hurt and fear. Throughout Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses numerous symbols to represent major themes in the novel. Themes are the important ideas that run through the book. ...read more.

Middle

unlike the others he immediately realises the need for rules and organisation and the need to keep the fire going in order to be rescued. Ralph's rules keep the boys attached to some sense of society, but the boys gradually lose the respect of the conch and rules that come with it. In the beginning of the story the conch is described as, "In colour the shell was deep cream, touched here and there with fading pink", but later on in the story the conch is now "fragile and white". This is because here is where the breakdown of order takes place, here the group break into two groups, Jacks and Ralph's and rules and organisation are no longer. Near the end of the story where Piggy dies, the conch smashes, I think this is to represent the loss of rules and the breakdown of these kids innocence, also the loss of the conchs colour represents the loss of innocence. ...read more.

Conclusion

The snakes/beastie is only in the boys' imaginations but Golding is trying to make the point that evil comes within, and he does this well by using a snake which is symbolic of evil. The fire is the most important theme in the story and is carried on right through to the end of the novel. The boys know at the beginning of the story that without fire there is no smoke and therefore no rescue, fire is an important aspect of order and security and this is why Ralph and Piggy hold on to the need for a fire right through to the end of the story but the rest of the boys don't except this and don't want to be limited to what they can do, they therefore resent the idea of the need for a fire and decide that to hunt and kill is far more important. At the end of the story when there is a huge fire, someone sees there smoke and rescues them, making them all realise that fire was the most important thing on the island. Zoe Koulakis 11AD ...read more.

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