• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Less Obvious Symbols in Lord of the Flies

Extracts from this document...


How does Golding use the less obvious symbols in 'Lord of the Flies'? 'Lord of the Flies' is an allegorical novel by William Golding in which he employs the scene of a deserted island and the cast of a group of English schoolboys to serve as a framework, through which he explores the themes of his book. The more obvious symbols in the book appear to be the conch shell, which symbolizes order and civilisation, and Piggy's glasses, which symbolize science, intelligence and clear-sightedness. However, there are some symbols that are less obvious but still play a key role in revealing the major themes in the novel. These less obvious symbols are the action and movement of the boys, the shelters and the use of light imagery. The action and movement of the boys tracks their energy and physical ability, and this leads onto understanding their ability to persuade and control others. The shelters are the basis for their civilisation. The light imagery is used not only to describe the way that the light seen, but is symbolic of the very central theme of civilisation versus savagery, or perhaps the more universal good versus evil. ...read more.


We can see once more how a boy's physical ability affects his position of power on the island, as Piggy is later on mocked continuously by the other boys, and no-one ever listens to what he has to say at the assemblies and meetings of the boys. Jack is probably the best example of how physical ability is tied in with power and control, as although he is not made the leader at the beginning of the novel, his constant displays of agility and swiftness when hunting and killing pigs eventually lead to him becoming the chief of his newly formed tribe, and his absolute power allows him to do what he pleases: 'He was down like a sprinter' (page 61). As we can see, he is very lively and energetic throughout the novel and this leads to his ruthless reign over the boys later on; '"He's going to beat Wilfred...I never heard him."' (pages 196-197). Jack's energy makes him into a powerful chief who needs no reason for his actions. As we can see, the symbolism in the imagery of actions and movements is essential to discovering the vitality of each boy, and with that their power over the others. ...read more.


At the beginning of the second chapter, titled Fire on the Mountain, a scene is described where Ralph is calling an assembly, and we are told that light is being brought in from the afternoon sun, and scattered by a sudden breeze; the boys are in good, and civilised, spirits in a time of light and brightness. 'In the darkness of the early morning...over the rocks and fled.' (pages 119-122). As we can see the twins fear that they have encountered the beast; a bad event which took place in darkness. As the novel continues, Golding uses less imagery of light, and more imagery of darkness, and so the novel and the boys descend into savagery and badness. As we can see, Golding uses the symbols of the motion of the boys, the shelters, and the imagery of light and dark to support the themes and concepts in his novel. The movement of the boys traces their energy and also their power over the other boys. The shelters are a model of the civilisation and democracy on the island. The light imagery used to bring out the idea of goodness and civilisation, and is the antithesis to the dark imagery that is used to produce the concept of badness and savagery. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE William Golding section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This is an articulate, perceptive essay which shows understanding and insight. Quotes are well used, but more are needed to make this more specific and detailed. Nearly top marks! ****

Marked by teacher Karen Reader 28/04/2012

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

5 star(s)

Response to the question

This candidate writes a response to a question about the "less obvious" symbolism in William Golding's 'Lord of the Flies'. The answer accurately identifies three very apt allegorical elements that contribute to the novel Golding has written (symbolism of light, ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This candidate writes a response to a question about the "less obvious" symbolism in William Golding's 'Lord of the Flies'. The answer accurately identifies three very apt allegorical elements that contribute to the novel Golding has written (symbolism of light, the shelters, and the movement of the boys). There is an unbroken focus on the question proposed and the essay is structure coherently in order to properly address each allegory in turn.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is extremely good, and wholly indicative of a candidate operating at a high A grade/low A* grade for GCSE. There is an excellently-expressed understanding of the entire novel, and the candidate does well to satisfy the examiner's desire to see candidates who thoroughly understand the entirety of the novel's they analyse inside and out. The identification of the themes chosen is a task in itself but to draw such precise and rounded analysis from them suggests a candidate with a high level of analytical ability. The candidate would do well however, to mention the phrase "pathetic fallacy" as a linguistic device that aims to give emotions to non-human things - usually the weather. Similar to personification, pathetic fallacy deals particularly with emotional personification, and the way the candidate comments on Golding's use of light and dark as a means of projecting the mood and atmosphere of the novel at the time is very thorough, though I might argue that the comment about the novel gradually seeing a much darker tone to the weather as it progresses could be developed further.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is very high. This answer is thoroughly clear and gives a distinct impression of a candidate who is either an extremely good typist or has read and re-read their answer for inconsistencies and errors in their written expression and have corrected them.

Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 16/03/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE William Golding essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast Defoe's Robinson Crusoe with Golding's Lord of the Flies.

    4 star(s)

    Inside Britain, the Industrial Revolution was under way. New countries were seen as lands of opportunity and resource; many people emigrated to make their fortune in tobacco growing or gold mining etc. There was a general air of optimism concerning mankind's future and when Crusoe is shipwrecked - the only survivor on an unknown island - he fights

  2. Peer reviewed

    What is the significance of Piggy in the novel The Lord of the Flies?

    5 star(s)

    Piggy's glasses are very important in the novel. "He took off his glasses and looked vainly for something with which to clean them." The glasses are very important to Piggy as an individual, as without them he is as good as blind. Jack:"His specs - use them as burning glasses!"

  1. Significance of the Island Lord of the Flies

    The island is so vividly described as having a "mountain lake, blue of all shades and shadowy green and purple" yet was immediately affected by the boys' arrival; this arrival is marked by the "long scar smashed into the jungle".

  2. Compare and contrast Ralph and Jack as leaders

    Spill her blood'. Jack is part of this group and it is apparent that the other boys have also acquired a lust for killing and hunting. However, Piggy drives Jack to violence by saying, 'You didn't ought to have let that fire out, you said you'd keep the smoke going'.

  1. 'Lord of the Flies': Simon Essay.

    After the election, Ralph decides to go on an expedition to explore the island, and find out if it is really an island. He chooses Jack to accompany him, Ralph probably wants to find out about Jack, and if he is a threat to his leadership.

  2. 12 examples of rhetorical devices throughout lord of the flies

    It says 'He would have liked to have a pair of scissors and cut this hair- he flung the mass back- cut this filthy hair right back to half an inch.' This repetition stresses the importance of these thoughts. Chapter 8 Repetition is used again on page 158 This is

  1. Lord of the Flies Character Monolgues

    I suppose that I am to blame as well. Only if I had stopped Jack earlier none of this would have happened. The mere fact that I was once friends with Jack makes me sick. The flashbacks of that awful dance and Piggy tumbling off that cliff regularly haunt me.

  2. Explore the ways Golding uses and presents setting in Lord of the Flies.

    island? appeals to Jack because of its isolation and detachment from the main island. Similarly Jack wishes for supremacy and sole influence over the other boys, as opposed to being a normal boy, and this transition in character is exemplified whenever he is at Castle Rock; Golding would capitalise him

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work