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Examine the importance of the conch, fire, Piggy's glasses, the pig's head and the beast in the Lord of the Flies

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Introduction

Examine the importance of the conch, fire, Piggy's glasses, the pig's head and the beast in the Lord of the Flies It is clearly evident, to anyone who has studied Lord of the Flies, that each of the symbols portrayed are so important in the novel, that it would be non-existent without them. The entire novel is about symbolism with almost each and every person place and thing representing something different. Even the very island on which the story takes place symbolises the larger world outside the story. On establishing this, it is easier to understand each of the other symbols and the importance of these in the novel. We are introduced to the conch in the first chapter. When Ralph and piggy first find the conch, they are fascinated by it. When describing the conch's appearance, Golding uses beautiful and pure imagery 'eighteen inches of shell with a slight spiral twist and covered with a delicate, embossed pattern', creating an image that the conch is a good and important thing to have on the island. ...read more.

Middle

Ralph and Piggy cared more for the fire than the other boys, showing that they remained more civilized than the rest, 'There was a ship. Out there. You said you'd keep the fire going and you let it out!' Hence, the signal fire stands for the amount of civilization left on the island. It also comforts the boys at night; pushing away the darkness and making the boys feel safe. Ironically, at the end of the novel, a fire finally summons a ship to the island, but not the signal fire. Instead, it is the fire of savagery-the forest fire Jack's gang starts as part of his quest to hunt and kill Ralph. This proves that the fire was important because without it, the boys would never have been rescued. Piggy's glasses are also a very important symbol in the novel. Piggy is the most intelligent, rational boy in the group, and his glasses represent the power of intellect in society. ...read more.

Conclusion

The complicated symbol of the pig's head becomes one of the most important images in the novel when Simon confronts the sow's head in the glade and it seems to speak to him, telling him that evil lies within every human heart and promising to have some "fun" with him. "Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you? Close, close, close! I'm the reason why it's no go? Why things are what they are?" In this way, the Lord of the Flies becomes both a physical expression of the beast, a symbol of the power of evil, and a kind of Satan figure who evokes the beast within each human being. Looking at the novel in the context of biblical parallels, the Lord of the Flies recalls the devil, just as Simon recalls Jesus. In fact, the name "Lord of the Flies" is a literal translation of the name of the biblical name Beelzebub, a powerful demon in hell sometimes thought to be the devil himself. As the pig's head and the beast represent the Lord of the Flies, they illustrate great importance. Nicola Maxwell Form 4 Ms. Graham ...read more.

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