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How does Golding use symbols in lord of the flies.

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Introduction

How does Golding use symbols in lord of the flies. In lord of the flies Golding uses a lot of symbolism. The book is a symbol in its self, it is an allegory, and it works on two levels. It is written as a boy's adventure story but it also symbolises mankind and its corrupt civilisation. The social historical context of the book is based on Golding's personal experiences in the Second World War. He was appalled by the concentration camps and disillusioned the atomic bombs dropped by the Americans on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Because of these Golding said "evil is not just over there it is here aswell," This is also where he gets the pessimistic view that all mankind are fundamentally evil Golding uses the conch to symbolise many different things throughout the novel. He uses it to symbolise an adult figure and authority, whoever has the conch has the power to talk and say what they like. "I've got the conch." This authority keeps the boys inline at the start of the book, "we'll have rules." The only boys at first who fail to gain power from the conch are Simon and the boy with the mulberry birthmark, because they feel embarrassed and pressurised by the group. ...read more.

Middle

When this happens Piggy must take his glasses of and clean them, "Piggy cleaned his lens." He also takes his glasses of and cleans them when he needs to think about something. When Piggy's glasses get half broken he has to take them off to polish them more often, "Piggy took his one pound of glass of and polished the surface." He does this because he only has one glass and he can't understand things as well as when he had both lenses, he has to think more about things to understand them. When his glasses are stolen he can't see, understand anything and this inability to perceive thing's results in his death. Golding uses the fire to represent a number of things throughout the novel. It is used to symbolise hope, the only thing keeping Ralph, Piggy and Samneric form becoming savages at the end of the book is the hope of rescue the fire brings. It also represents power alongside the conch because whoever has the fire has light, warmth and the other assets that the fire brings. "We've got to keep the fire going." By the end of the book even Ralph starts to forget why the fire is important all he knows is that it brings hope, "Ralph tried indignantly to remember, there was something good about the fire. ...read more.

Conclusion

When the Parachutist landed in the mountain and they couldn't get up to the top their aspirations and hopes of being rescued are unable to be achieved. The parachutist represents a sign from the adults. It is also a sign that the adult civilisation is corrupt and that they are really no better than the civilisation that the boys have set up. "The beast was harmless and horrible," the boys thought the parachutist was physically the beast and in some respects they were right, humanity is the beast and the evil. These are just some of the symbols that Golding uses during the book, there are many more. He uses symbolism very well most things in the book usually have more than one meaning to them. He uses symbols to express and convey his personal feelings on mankind and civilisation. He doesn't directly say that mankind is corrupt and fundamentally evil until the end of the book when he writes "Ralph wept for the darkness of mans heart" up until that point it is a subconscious message that is conveyed to the reader in an enigmatic way throughout the novel. Golding has very strong views that if he went straight out and just said them then people would condemn and argue with him but as his has conveyed it so subconsciously it does not register in your brain even though you are thinking about it. ...read more.

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