Essay, Research Paper
Symbolism can be used to represent many aspects of a person place or thing. Throughout the novel the boys lose all symbols that represent there civilization such as there clothes and uniforms. In this novel symbolism is used to show how the boys change their outlook on their primitive society and rules. They are used in the novel Lord of the Flies to show the deterioration and destruction of the boys society and rules. The conch, the glasses and the masks all have a greater meaning in the novel.
The conch is used throughout the novel Lord of the Flies to symbolize law and order of the adult world which the boys try to recreate. “The conch. I got the right to speak.” (p 45,Piggy) this was a rule made by the boys to keep order. ” The conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist” (p200, narrator). Near the end of the novel jack and his group go against the rules and once the conch is broken there is no hope for recovery. “There isn’t a tribe for you anymore! The conch is gone.”(p201, Jack), and Ralph loses all power after the conch is destroyed. He depends on the conch to keep his tribe under control and have power over them. At the beginning of the novel the conch represents law and order. As the boys split apart the conch becomes less important and is eventually destroyed. After all this happens Ralph’s small tribe is also destroyed. The conch is used to represent law, order and society in the same way that Piggy’s glasses are used.
The glasses represent logic, order and hope. Piggy defends the glasses more than the conch because he believes logic is more important than order.”Then, with the martyred expression of a parent who has to keep up with the senseless ebullience of the children, he [Piggy] picked up the conch, turned toward the forest, and began to pick his way over the tumbled scar.”(p38, narrator). This shows how piggy thinks of things first. Without logic there would be no order. The glasses are a sign of hope for the boys. They use the glasses for fire, there rescue signal, to cook there food and for light to protect them from the beastie at night.”his specs, use them as burning glasses!” (P40, Jack). They all work together in the beginning but the boys slowly lose interest in the fire as different things start to become for important such as hunting and playing. “They let the bloody fire out…”( p71, Ralph). Ralph says this after the ship, their only hope for rescue goes unseen. Only a few boys remain loyal. The glasses symbolize logic but the masks the boys wear create an excuse not to be logical and civilized.
The purpose of the masks are to hide from their conscience. The boys use it as an excuse to live as savages instead of civilized English boys. The mask is a symbol of savagery, evil and the hunt. “Jack looked no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger”(p66, narrator). The masks made the boys, especially Jack, seem like something they were not. “A little boy who wore the remains of an extraordinary black cap on his red hair and who carried the remains of a pair of spectacles at his waist, started forward, then changed his mind and stood still.” This quote shows how the boys become savages. The masks gave the boys power and evilness. The tribe loses its innocence and they let their evil inside take over. They use the masks to hide from themselves and each other. The hunts for pigs are all done while wearing masks because they found courage behind the masks. This was their excuse for disregarding the rules and order.
The conch, the glasses and the masks are several symbols used throughout the novel to show how evil overcame good. The conch represent law and order while the glasses show logic and hope. The masks are used to display the evil present in the human race. Everything in life is used to represent something it appears not to be. It is easy to forget what is right in life and do what you think is the fun and easy way.