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Lord of the Flies Symbolism

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1 Lord of the Flies Symbolism
By: Jiyoon Cho, Caitlin Crommett, Kevin Lin, Corisa Oh, and Erik Peterson

2 Fire In Lord of the Flies, fire plays an important role in the novel’s development. It symbolizes: The boys’ connection to civilization- When the fire is burning, some of the boys still have some sense of returning to civilization, since they care enough to keep the fire going, rather than forgetting it and going hunting. At the end, a large island fire gets the boys noticed and rescued. This is ironic because the boys, led by Jack, have completely lost sight of civilization and have become savages. “We can help them to find us…We must make a fire” (Golding, 38). Stated by Ralph, the quote explains that the fire depicts the boys with some civilized sense in them in the beginning. In the end, it eventually symbolizes their return to civilization, as they are rescued while the fire burns the island.

3 Fire continued… Hope of being rescued
Fire also symbolizes: Hope of being rescued When the fire goes out, the boys have lost sight of their initial interests to get rescued and have become savages. When Jack and his hunters turn into beasts while they catch the pig, they let the fire go out.. When Piggy dies, the fire almost dies with him, because he was one of the last to have any sense of civilized priorities. The rest of the boys forget about being rescued as the fire goes out for the last time. “They let the bloody fire go out” (Golding, 68). Ralph gets angry after the hunters let the fire go out, and says the worst words he can find. This depicts some of the boys’ loss of priority and explains that they don’t care as much about getting rescued.

4 Mock Hunt The mock hunt symbolizes the distinct departure from civilization and the turn to savagery Departure from civilization Ralph’s participation in the mock hunt shows the turn to savagery. Ralph’s order is overcome by Jack’s anarchy, as he takes lead of the mock hunt when he and the others couldn’t catch the boar. As Robert began to act like the pig, everyone gave in to their impulsive side, even those who had previously seemed civilized, like Ralph and Piggy. This reveals that all of the boys have been so exposed to the wild that they have resorted to beast-like behavior. “Ralph too was fighting to get near, to get a handful of the brown, vulnerable flesh” (Golding, ). Ralph, the ego of the tribe, loses sight of his reason and gives in to the barbarity of the ceremonial chant of the hunt.

5 Mock Hunt continued… It also symbolizes… Brutality and Savagery
The brutality is displayed by the ID. Their animalistic sides are exhibited when each of the boys partake in the hunt, and pretend that Robert is the pig. As they lose sight of the human they are trying to hunt, the boys become symbols of savagery. “Robert squealed in mock terror, then in real pain” (Golding 114). The group, led by Jack, was overcome by the immediate savagery of the mock hunt and did not recognize the pain that they were putting Robert in. They became selfish beasts that lost sight of all reason. “Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!” (Golding, 114). This chant represents their turn to barbarism and their impulses every time they perform the mock hunt.

6 Dead Parachutist The dead parachutist on the mountain symbolizes the “beast” and a sign from the world of adults. The Beast The boys slowly lost all sense of rationality, as is seen by the twins’ assumption of the nature of the beast. They went from a stage of complete denial of the existence of the beast to basing their every action off of the fear of the beast. “…a beast with claws that scratched, that sat on a mountain top, that left no tracks…” (Golding, 103). Their vision of the beast is solidified by this quote. The parachutist represents their childish and irrational fear that they have of abstract beings.

7 Dead Parachutist continued…
It also symbolizes: Sign from the world of adults The book takes place in a time of war. A plane was shot down in a battle that was being fought over the island, the pilot evacuated the plane but did not survive long enough to see his parachute open. His body fell to the island and was caught in a tree at which time he ceased to be a sign from the adult and took the role of the “beast”. “But a sign came down from the world of grown-ups…a figure dropping swiftly beneath a parachute, a figure that hung with dangling limbs” (Golding, 95). The man is a sign of the lost civilization and outside world that the boys have ventured away from. Since it only lasts a short time, this sign goes mostly unnoticed by the boys, who keep to their savage ways.

8 The ID The ID is depicted by Jack, and through the boys’ action of painting their faces. Jack as the ID: Jack’s severe personality is representative of the instinct of savagery, violence, and the desire for power. He becomes obsessed with hunting and devotes himself to this animalistic task. Jack paints his face like a barbarian and gives himself over to bloodlust, which shows his ID in action. Hunting develops the savagery that already existed within Jack, making him ape-like as he crawls through the jungle. “You and your blood, Jack Merridew! You and your hunting! We might have gone home…” (Golding, 70). Piggy says this after Jack ruins their chance of being rescued by letting the fire go out as the ship goes by. Jack has cultivated his animalistic obsession with hunting.

9 The ID continued… The ID is also shown by: Face Painting
When covering their faces with face paint, the hunters cease to be Jack, Roger, or choir students, and lose their identities. Their IDs shine through, making them uncivilized savages. The purpose of the face paint is to let them act as savages, in a somewhat out of body experience, without feeling the guilt that comes with their actions. “He looked in astonishment, no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger” (Golding, 63). This directly relates the fact that once the face paint is applied, the usual appearance and personality becomes unrecognizable.

10 The Conch The conch symbolizes order on the island as well as the democracy that the group tries to instill. Order and attempts at civilization on the island: At the very start of the novel Ralph and Piggy discover the conch. By the sound of the conch all the boys from the crash come together. This symbolized that the conch represents order and civilization. As the novel goes on the boys soon turn to savagery ways and the conch loses its legitimacy. such as when Ralph attempts to blow the conch but results in him getting stones thrown at him. The death of the conch is when Piggy dies because Roger rolls the boulder over him crushing the conch as well, ending all signs of civilization and order. “I got the conch!...Ralph they ought to shut up, oughtn’t they?” (Golding, 83). People in possession of the conch have the right to speak in this system of government that the boys come up with. Piggy exercises this right as he tries to get everyone’s attention.

11 The Conch continued… The conch also symbolizes democracy and government. Democracy and government: When the boys are all together to form a meeting the conch is then used again to control the meeting. Whoever holds the conch has the power to talk or speak. This represents democratic power and government legitimacy. As the tribe decides to choose a leader the basis of their decision is on the conch. "But there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch” (Golding, 23). The conch has a power over the boys which makes them give in to whoever is in control of it. Since Ralph is the one who found it, the boys automatically choose him as the leader.

12 Conclusion Symbolism is abundantly present in this story. It is greatly important for the development of Lord of the Flies. The fire, mock hunt, ID, dead parachutist, and the conch shell play major roles in the plot and succession of the story. The End P.S.: We have the best PowerPoint so you might as well give us the extra credit now. P.P.S.: Keep in mind we have three Asians in our group.

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