Symbolism and Imagery in Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies Importance and Images Throughout daily life individuals utilize particular symbols, or images, to relate their sensations and unconscious ideas to something more concrete and concrete. To a young child, an unique blanket might provide them with a sense of security and comfort; in addition, stated blanket may consist of the capability to soothe the kid in a state of distress. Someone who had recently lost an enjoyed one, might use objects that contain a degree of emotional worth in order to much better keep the memories of the lost relationship.

The symbol of the maple leaf, to Canadians, represents a sense of belonging and approval, a sense of pride and commitment to a society and culture unique to that of Canada. In his novel Lord of the Flies, Golding provides his audience with limitless quantities of symbolism and imagery. Some of the more prominent ones demonstrated in his novel include that of the Conch; representing order and democracy, the Fire; representing hope and rescue, and finally, but potentially most significantly, that of the Monster; representing Fear and uncertainty.

As the novel progresses and develops, so too, do the signs of the conch, fire, and monster. Through using his signs, Golding challenges his audience’s pre-societal-conceived views, supplies a general commentary about the devolvement of humanity, and emphasizes his grander ideas about humankind and the installing savagery that exists on the island. In the earliest stages of the novel, the symbol of the conch holds an inexplicably amazing compulsion over the kids. Piggy, being the first to point it out amongst the creepers, is impressed by its beauty and intricacies.

Referred to as “glowing” and “fragile” the conch needs attention, not just in description however in addition to noise. “Gosh!” Ralph had actually whispered in a sense of wonder following the initial sounding of the flourishing horn. As the kids collect from all corners of the island they are instantly drawn to Ralph; “But there was stillness about Ralph as he sat that significant him out: there was his size, his look, and most obscurely, yet most strongly, there was the conch. “(Golding 19). Through electing Ralph as their picked leader, the boys make the unconscious decision of emocracy, holding on to their customs of society and, in turn, their civility and, what might perhaps be, their inner “goodness.” As one of his very first roles as Chief, Ralph establishes what is called the “Guideline of the Conch”: if one dreams to speak, they must hold the conch and can not be interrupted, except by Ralph thus creating a divide between himself and the typical person of the island civilization- Adequately furthering the theory that the conch represents democratic rule and society.

After all, what is society besides guidelines and policies made by those in a position of authority implied for the common man to fallow? As the concept of time, both natural (day and night) and well as artistic (plot development), progresses the conch’s power, and, in turn, Ralphs’, start to diminish. Jacks presence and the evil he represents grow significantly more effective and dominant; “Jack broke in, contemptuously. ‘You’re always scared’ ‘I got the conch.’ ‘Conch! Conch! Screamed Jack, ‘We do not require the conch any longer. “(Golding, 37) suggests that the power of democratic society is crumbling under the weight of the growing savagery on the island. Jack begins to outwardly and publicly undermine and oppose Ralph, the guideline of the conch and, more largely, society and civility itself. He speaks out of turn, accuses Ralph of being a coward and takes control of leadership on numerous events; demonstrated in their hunt for the Monster in chapters 6 and seven- Jack continuously takes the lead while Ralph wanders off behind to contemplate inwardly and with Simon. The conch’s symbolic meaning depends upon the state of the children’s minds. When power becomes more real to Jack than rules, the conch is meaningless.” (Kinkead-Weekes and Gregor, 7) shows that there is no genuine, physical power to the conch; it is just a shell- that power is in what society, and individuals within society, permit it to be. In chapter eleven, Castle Rock, Piggy is completely killed by Roger while clinging desperately to the conch in his last stand versus Jack, his tribe, and, eventually, barbarity. The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.” (Golding, 200) through the damage of the conch in such a violent manner Golding snuffs out any lingering wish for Ralph and civility. The audience experiences a total and utter sense of loss and despondence at this point, they grieve not just for the death of Piggy but the realization that their pre-conceived optimistic views on society have been challenged and finally shattered; both actually and metaphorically. The shell, whose sound started as a summons to society, ends as a murderous explosion on the rocks” (Kinkead-Weekes and Gregor, 4) properly demonstrating that society, like humankind is ultimately flawed, and will collapse when faced with an opposing force of darkness and even the smallest tip of a barbaric nature and propensity. The symbol of the fire resembles that of the conch in the regard that it develops thoughout the course of the novel, but differs in the fact that it does not a lot devolve, but rather changes shape and takes on two significances.

The fire in fact, becomes a “double-edged” sword. When one is asked; “what are the very first three things you would do if stranded on an island?” The majority of would respond with; “discover food, water, and shelter, naturally.” Ralphs main concern on the island, after his adventurous expedition with Jack and Simon, is to be rescued. In the start he is dead set on the idea that sooner or later a ship will come by the island and when it does, that the “grown-ups” will coincidentally pass by, he wants to be ready; “We can help them to discover us. If a ship comes near the island they may not discover us.

So we need to make smoke on top of the mountain. We should make a fire. “(Golding, 37) shows that the kids, and Ralph in specific, are primarily focused and dedicated to the concept of rescue. All the children go charging up the mountain in excited desertion to create a fire in the hope that it will increase their opportunities of salvage; appropriately emphasizing the staying touches of society present within the boys and on the island. As soon as the fire is made and lit, through making use of Piggy’s glasses, the boys rapidly understand that if not controlled and kept in check, the fire can end up being quickly dark and unsafe. On ones side the air was cool, but on the other the fire thrust out a savage arm of heat that crinkled hair on the instant” (Golding, 41) through the use of images Golding depicts the fire as something “savage” and threatening, efficiently foreshadowing the boys’ barbaric decline. The destructiveness of the fire could likewise be used as a sign to parallel the outdoors world’s dangers of atomic warfare; “A tree took off in the fire like a bomb.” (47) The loss and presumed death of the young boy with the mulberry mark parallels the deaths of countless innocent bystanders at the grace of manmade productions i. e. the fire and the atomic bomb. The turmoil and damage that the fire evolves into refers that of the uncontrolled mass mayhem that is warfare. The vigorous importance with which Ralph sees the fire ends up being the bone of contention that eventually drives him and Jack apart. While Ralph holds unfaltering to the value of the fire, Jack, and the majority of the other kids, desert it and allot all their time and energy to hunting, falling back into their base impulses of savagery, stressing Golding’s theory about humanity that, if offered the option, man will constantly choose to turn to their barbaric nature.

Paradoxically, by the end of the unique, Ralph is driven from concealing and hunted through making use of the fire. Jacks people sets an all-consuming raving fire that envelops the island and ruins all life within it; “indicated as a signal fire for passing ships of airplanes it becomes, though misuse, a wild beast with a life of its own which gets into the whole place … What takes place mistakenly in the second chapter is done deliberately at the end by the young boys turned savages.” (Delbaere-Grant, 78). Golding highlights the kids making the conscious and all too thought out choice to turn to this act of barbarism.

And only through stated acts, were they able to achieve a smoke signal big enough to draw in the attention of a passing ship; “We saw your smoke. What have you been doing? Having a war or something?” (Golding, 223) Ralph responds with a sincere nod of the head, but the marine officer continues to treat all of it as a joke. The officers’ naivety and complete absence of seriousness pertaining to the occasions happened on the island is a symbolic referral to humanity as an entire and it’s tendency for violent ignorance.

He might not see that the occasions occurred on the island were a direct reenactment of the war he himself had actually taken part in and an example that even the most “civilized” of men can the horrors of murder. No one of Golding’s signs is more prominently shown than that of the Beast, he allocates several chapters in the novel to the idea of the Monster. In the very first phases of its advancement, there is much speculation regarding what the monster actually is. The children ponder that the “Beastie” is a “snake-thing” which then progresses to the fictional type a ghost and then to that of a kids’s-fable idea of the squid.

They utilize their creativities to validate and discuss the fear and uncertainty that is ending up being predominately present with the ever progressing principle of “the Monster.” Like kids anywhere they experience headaches and illusions about the Beast; they take the unknown element of its existence and turn into something more relatable in order to justify their worry. “The important things is- Fear can’t injure you any longer than a dream. There aren’t any monsters to be afraid of on this island. “( 88) at this point in the novel all the proof pertaining to that of the beast is based upon creativity and worry. There is no physical manifestation of the monster.

Simon is the just who begins to speculate that “maybe it’s simply us” In chapter six, Beast type Air, a dead parachutist falls from the sky to arrive on the top of the mountain where Samneric are preserving the fire. Due to the fear currently instilled in them by the groups’ speculations of the monster, they right away become frightened and run away. This physical symptom and the illustration that it is, undoubtedly, human, significantly adds to Golding’s objectives regarding the Beast;” The tangle of lines revealed him the mechanics of this parody; he took a look at the white nasal bones, the teeth, the colors of corruption” (162 ).

The figure that had actually fallen from the sky, thought to be the monster, is human and, paradoxically, Monster all in when- enhancing Golding’s overall proposition that within all humanity, there holds the innate capability and tendency towards evil and our own, individual, inner beast. In addition, the way in which the parachutist is presented, through the act of falling, is a theme that consistently occurs throughout the unique both actually; the airplanes fall from the sky after it is shot down and Piggy’s fall to his death on the rock extending from the sea, and metaphorically; the fall of mankind.

The fall of the parachutist parallels that of the fall of Lucifer which, discussed in Dantes inferno, is “neither angelic nor demonic, but profoundly a human reality.” The fall of Lucifer, which theologists refer to as the fall from grace, and, in turn, a loss of civility is the outcome of hubris, otherwise called extreme pride. The young boys, and most in specific, Jack show pride in the way they view their brand-new society in the beginning.

The young boys’ view that they are “proper English kids” and somehow superiorly unflawed, results in the supreme failure of their humankind and lead them directly into the grasp of their barbaric roots. At a bottom line in chapter 9, A Present for Darkness, Simon speaks to the lord of the flies, but rather his inner monster; “You knew, didn’t you? I’m apart of you! Close, close, close! “( 158) confirms what he had actually been believing all along, that the monster is something that stays within, there is no externalization of a monster, just the evils we see within ourselves and our buddies.

Through Simon and his foreboding chat with the pig head, Golding shows most adequately and plainly the nature of mankind, and externalizes the inner conflict that humanity is sure to face, pertaining to the specific devolvement they deal with when left to their own gadgets, stripped of social law. Golding also states in contrast that the beast is both “harmless and dreadful” (162) significance that unless confronted and accepted it will take siege.

The young boys, in their relentless and vigorous rejection of fact that “perhaps it’s simply us” provide fuel to the ever-growing and present fire that is the beast. By battling so hard to reject their inner beasts the kid unconsciously end up being monsters themselves; “Their defense against a pictured external monster permits the beast within them to get outright and transform them into murders” (Boyd, 16). As the Beast modifications and evolves, getting speed and momentum, the kids’ civil nature decreases, permitting them to dedicate awful and unimaginable horrors ill thought of by society.

By relating to the Beast as God-like, providing a ceremonial sacrifice, the young boys completely succumb to their base impulses and tendencies for barbarism and savagery. They become awed by the power of the Beast and the possibilities it keeps. By the end of his novel, Lord of the Flies, and through his cautious use of symbolism and images, Golding challenges his audiences view on society, thoroughly and sufficiently enforcing his remarks about to the issues pertaining to the devolvement of humanity.

He methodically highlights his theories concerning mankind and the increasing savagery that exists on the island. Golding shows the conch’s change from order and democracy to that of turmoil and dictatorship. The symbol of the fire goes from that of hope and rescue to that of risk and destruction. The Beast, on the other hand, transforms symbolically from that of worry and uncertainty to awe and reverence.

Through closer observation of Golding’s uses of symbolism and imagery, no matter how diverse and complicated the said sign may be, there is constantly a repeating theme and connection present; savagery. Every path of every sign leads back to one root, one destination; the savagery in which the young boys eventually turn to on the island, as well as the typical link they all have concerning the outside “real” world. Golding’s symbols do an exceptional job in assisting his audience understand the bigger photo that is his novel; mankind’s particular devolvement into savagery.

Works Cited Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1954. Print Boyd, S. J. “The Nature of the Beast” The Novels of William Golding. Sussex, UK. University of St Andrew Press. 1988. Delbaere-Grant, Jeanne. “Rhythm and Expansion in Lord of the Flies” William Golding: Some Crucial Factors to consider. Ed. Jack Biles & & Robert Evask. University of Kentucky Press. Lexington, 1975. Print. Kinkead-Weekes, Mark. Gregor, Ian. William Golding: An Important Study of the Books. Faber and Faber Press, 1984. Print.