Lord of the Flies

In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, there are many different symbols that give the story many significant events and outcomes. These elements symbolize the basic idea and concept of the novel. The boys on the island come across the beast several times, which leads them to take repulsive actions. This brings out the evil within them. The conch symbolizes power because it represents law, order and civilization amongst the boys on the island. There are a number of symbols in the novel and the beast and the conch are some of them.

The beast represents the evil that is within all human beings.   In the beginning of the novel, the mulberry boy mentions seeing a “snake-thing. Ever so big.” This event marks the littluns first step descending into savagery because their conscience is getting the better of them. However, the older boys argue that it “must have been just a nightmare” because the evil in them had not been brought out yet. However, as the novel progresses, the boys begin believing that the beast is real and the evil in them is brought out. The longer amount of time the boys stay on the island, their life corrupt as the fear of the unknown rose. The boys’ ability to do violence and unpleasant actions leads to the death of Simon because they thought he was the beast.   The beast eventually takes over the boys’ conscience and brings out the evil in them. The fear of the beast shows that the boys once had civilization, which over time, has deteriorated due to the lack of supervision on the island.

The conch shell represents law, order and civilization amongst the boys on the island.   In the beginning, Ralph finds a conch and uses it to gather everybody together after they have been separated in the crash. This gives the conch a symbolic meaning of power because it directs where people go when they hear the “sound of the conch.” Ralph then, realizes that the children still need “hands up like at school” and it represents the boy’s need of staying...