The Prevalence of Symbolism in Lord of the Flies, a Novel by William Golding

In the book The Lord of the Flies, symbolism is everywhere because it is an allegory, all of the characters and objects in the story symbolize something in human society. The main symbols consist of the conch, the beast, and Piggy’s glasses. They all represent and play important roles in our society. First, is the conch, it plays a huge role in the story that is what gathered everyone on the island for the first time. It was also the way people got a chance to talk whoever was holding the conch was the speaker and everyone else had to listen “I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak and he won’t be interrupted,” (Golding 33).

The conch actually symbolizes laws and civilization when the conch was destroyed it represented their civilization and rules on the island.

Next, is Piggy’s glasses, they also play a huge role in the story those glasses are what the children used to start a fire with, “His specs-use them as burning glasses”.

That was their way of signaling for help the glasses symbolize seeing things clearly and innovation they relate to the conch because they both give a sense of a civilized manner and just like the conch, when the glasses were crushed, seeing clearly went out the window. This was a result of savagery setting in and it took over the children very fast which got rid of their somewhat civilized lifestyle. Lastly, we have the beast, now the beast is a very interesting symbol because it all started from one of the littlun‘s imagination “He says the beastie came in the dark” (Golding 36).

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At first, it didn‘t seem like a huge threat, but as the story progresses it grows more and more as a threat. The beast symbolizes the human imagination and how powerful it really can be.

Jack and the hunters become obsessed with the idea of the beast, the most humorous part of that is they were willing to do so much to protect themselves from the beast but they had never even seen or witnessed what it was. All of these symbols are included in today’s society and they play an enormous role in it. If you look at them, all together, they have a certain balance about them, for instance, if someone’s imagination was too wild their clear thinking and the law and morality of the situation could take oven. If you had an imbalance with either one of those it creates a chaos like in The Lord of the Flies, this book almost gives us a warning and shows us what our society could look like if humans weren’t protected by a civilized society. It gives us intel of how savagery can take over without a conch and a pair of glasses to help keep us in line.

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The Prevalence of Symbolism in Lord of the Flies, a Novel by William Golding. (2023, Feb 17). Retrieved from

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