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The themes of “Lord of the Flies” and their communication through symbols.

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Introduction

The themes of "Lord of the Flies" are communicated mainly through symbols. Explore the symbolism of "Lord of the Flies", making specific reference to the text to support your points. In this essay, I aim to state and explain each of the different symbols presented by William Golding in "Lord of the Flies". I also aim to demonstrate the main themes of the book by linking them to the symbols that have been used within the text. In doing this I intend to use quotations from the text to strengthen the validity of my points. I plan to respond to the question, by asking whether the symbolism in the story has any purpose in understanding the events and themes of the book. In the book "Lord of the Flies", William Golding uses many different symbols in each of the key events and objects on the island. The first of these symbols being: The Conch, (a Symbol of civilised behaviour and order as a whole on the island). Here is an example of this symbol being used: "'We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They'll come when they hear us-'" (Page 12, Lines 3-4) This quote demonstrates the conch's power over the inhabitants, as they respond to the sound of the conch to create a meeting. This meeting creates an air of civilised behaviour on the island, with all the boys sitting round Ralph, the leader, and listening to things that he says. ...read more.

Middle

These glasses also signify hope on the island, for if it was not for the glasses, the fire could not have been made, and the children would not have been rescued: "`His specs - use them as burning glasses!' " (Page 40, line 11) The Language used by Golding gives the impression that these boys are determined and excited to be able to light a fire. This can be seen, when there is a scuffle for Piggy's glasses, after Jack exclaims that they could be used to light a fire. The language gives the impression that all of the boys present, try to go for the glasses, which results in Piggy being hurt that they didn't even ask if they could borrow them. It can be seen that Piggy would have willingly given them his glasses, if they had only asked. This could show a small loss of order and civilised behaviour within the inhabitants. They, (the boys), want to build a fire so that they stand a chance of being rescued. Fundamentally the children are almost wholly dependent on the capabilities of Piggy's glasses, as a source for reassurance, a link to the civilised behaviour of their old, and seemingly forgotten society, and most importantly, the boys' foundation for their hope of being rescued. The fire is seen as a symbol, as Golding wanted the children to have a link with a proper, more familiar society and civilisation. ...read more.

Conclusion

We find this out fully when he goes up to the top of the mountain where the dead parachutist landed, just to find out whether there actually is a beast. This can be seen as though he is the more intelligent of the group, and the less susceptible to the "hype" as the other boys. This is because, when he discovers that the other boy's "Beast" is only a dead parachutist, and tries to explain that to them, they are so wound up about "The Beast" that they mistake Simon for it, and kill him. With this killing of one of their own, there can be seen, a loss of innocence in the boys, as a few of them continue to hunt and kill, not only pigs, but the other boys as well. The main characters also represent things. Ralph represents order, leadership, and civility in the camp; Piggy symbolises the more scientific and intellectual aspects of Ralph's civilisation; Jack signifies savagery and the manic desire for power that is within some people. He could even be seen as a Dictator amongst the boys; Simon represents the natural power of human goodness; and Roger is seen to represent bloodlust and extreme brutality. Overall, Golding was trying to represent all of the human race's main natural, and basic instincts. He achieved this by running the plot through his own opinions of what people may resort to, if they were to be given the correct environment, and amount of time to live within. 1348 words. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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