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Then we abused the use of capital letters to get our point across. It seems the boys start to see Piggy as Just another animal, and he is therefore killed as though that’s Just what he is. The interesting thing is that the boys, because they kill Piggy, sort of become animals themselves. It’s a slippery, slidey, downward slope of atrocity. But animals aside, there’s another key point in Piggy’s death, and that is that the conch dies with him. The conch is smashed into thousands of pieces, which is about as close as an inanimate object is going to come to dying at all.

So what was it about Piggy and his relationship with the conch that warranted their duo death? To answer this question, we have to go back to the beginning of the novel, where Piggy, a. k. a. the “fat boy,” was discovering the conch along with Ralph. While Ralph finds the conch, Piggy is the one to identify it and tell Ralph how to use it. He then becomes the conch’s staunchest defender, always insisting on rules and order. He’s the character who makes such a big deal about learning names; he sees each boy as a fellow human being, and wants to give him the right and privilege of being called by his proper name.

The sad part is that Piggy is the only one denied this privilege (except the twins, but more about that later). Having names is an important part of the system of order that Piggy defends. Even in the moments before his (and the conch’s) death, he is still asking the boys to think about laws and discipline instead of running around sticking spears into various hides. When the last defender of law and order (Piggy) dies, so does the last semblance of that law and order (the conch).

But go back to that first scene again for a minute, where Piggy tells Ralph all about the conch. Piggy knows what to do (blow into the shell), but is too weak physically (because of his asthma) to do it. This is basically a metaphor for Piggys entire xistence: intellectual superiority, physical inferiority. It’s also the governing principle for Piggys relationship with Ralph. Ralph is attractive, confident, and a natural-born leader. He’s smart enough, but he’s not on par with Piggy when it comes to brains.

Ralph even admits this, and we repeatedly see Piggy is essentially Ralph’s right hand man, but he’s still stuck in the role of an outcast. One of the relationships we watch develop over the course of the story is the one between Ralph and Piggy. Ralph gradually comes to accept him, to treat him better, to want him around, and Piggy, aware of this change, is beyond pleased. Piggy isn’t Just bright; he’s innovative as well (think about the sundial idea). He also uses science as a defense for his fears; there’s no such thing as ghosts, he says, because the world is science.

Golding was sure to make Piggy wear glasses. Still, Piggys glasses are more than Just a pair of lenses – they’re an ingrained aspect of his entire persona. Did you ever notice how, in literature, writers say things like “his eyes flashed”? Several times in this novel, we see that “Piggys glasses flashed,” as if they are a part of his face, as if they are talking and reacting and, well, emoting. It makes sense, then, that this ntegral part of a character whose focus is science and technology, is used for the purposes of… science and technology.

While the boys revert to their primitive and animal ways, the glasses become a symbol of the opposite sort of transformation: advancement, discovery, innovation. We’ll go into more detail in the Symbols, Imagery, and Allegory section, but in talking about Piggy it’s important to note that, in this way, he is the character most needed on the island. Without his glasses, the boys never would have been able to start a fire. Far from being happy to help, however, Piggy is none too pleased with the use of his specs” as a lighter.

He’s extremely defensive, mostly because he can’t see a thing without them. We think there must be some deeper reason, however, why Piggy resents this manipulation of his eyewear. But we’ll let you take over from here. Civilization vs. Savagery The central concern of Lord of the Flies is the conflict between two competing impulses that exist within all human beings: the instinct to live by rules, act peacefully, follow moral commands, and value the good of the group against the instinct to gratify one’s immediate desires, act violently to obtain supremacy over thers, and enforce one’s will.

This conflict might be expressed in a number of ways: civilization vs. savagery, order vs. chaos, reason vs. impulse, law vs. anarchy, or the broader heading of good vs. evil. Throughout the novel, Golding associates the instinct of civilization with good and the instinct of savagery with evil. The conflict between the two instincts is the driving force of the novel, explored through the dissolution of the young English boys’ civilized, moral, disciplined behavior as they accustom themselves to a wild, brutal, barbaric life in the Jungle.

Lord of the Flies is n allegorical novel, which means that Golding conveys many of his main ideas and themes through symbolic characters and objects. He represents the conflict between civilization and savagery in the conflict between the novel’s two main characters: Ralph, the protagonist, who represents order and leadership; and Jack, the antagonist, who represents savagery and the desire for power. As the novel progresses, Golding shows how different people feel the influences of the instincts of feelings, while Roger seems barely capable of comprehending the rules of civilization.

Generally, however, Golding implies that the instinct of savagery is far ore primal and fundamental to the human psyche than the instinct of civilization. Golding sees moral behavior, in many cases, as something that civilization forces upon the individual rather than a natural expression of human individuality. When left to their own devices, Golding implies, people naturally revert to cruelty, savagery, and barbarism. This idea of innate human evil is central to Lord of the Flies, and finds expression in several important symbols, most notably the beast and the sow’s head on the stake.

Among all the characters, only Simon seems to possess anything like a atural, innate goodness. Loss of Innocence As the boys on the island progress from well-behaved, orderly children longing for rescue to cruel, bloodthirsty hunters who have no desire to return to civilization, they naturally lose the sense of innocence that they possessed at the beginning of the novel. The painted savages in Chapter 12 who have hunted, tortured, and killed animals and human beings are a far cry from the guileless children swimming in the lagoon in Chapter 3.

But Golding does not portray this loss of innocence as something that is done to the children; rather, it results naturally from their ncreasing openness to the innate evil and savagery that has always existed within them. Golding implies that civilization can mitigate but never wipe out the innate evil that exists within all human beings. The forest glade in which Simon sits in Chapter 3 symbolizes this loss of innocence. At first, it is a place of natural beauty and peace, but when Simon returns later in the novel, he discovers the bloody sows head impaled upon a stake in the middle of the clearing.

The bloody offering to the beast has disrupted the paradise that existed before”a powerful symbol of innate human vil disrupting childhood innocence. Motifs Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes. Biblical Parallels Many critics have characterized Lord of the Flies as a retelling of episodes from the Bible. While that description may be an oversimplification, the novel does echo certain Christian images and themes.

Golding does not make any explicit or direct connections to Christian symbolism in Lord of the Flies; instead, these biblical parallels function as a kind of subtle motif in the novel, adding thematic resonance to he main ideas of the story. The island itself, particularly Simon’s glade in the forest, recalls the Garden of Eden in its status as an originally pristine place that is corrupted by the introduction of evil. Similarly, we may see the Lord of the Flies as a representation of the devil, for it works to promote evil among humankind.

Furthermore, many critics have drawn strong parallels between Simon and Jesus. Among the boys, Simon is the one who arrives at the moral truth of the novel, and the other boys kill him sacrificially as a consequence of having discovered this truth. Simon’s conversation with the Lord of the Flies also parallels the confrontation between Jesus and the devil during Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness, as told in the Christian Gospels. However, it is important to remember that the parallels between Simon and Christ are not complete, and that there are limits to reading Lord of the Flies purely as a Christian allegory.

Save for Simon’s two uncanny predictions of the tradition. Although Simon is wise in many ways, his death does not bring salvation to the island; rather, his death plunges the island deeper into savagery and moral guilt. Moreover, Simon dies before he is able to tell the boys the truth he has discovered. Jesus, in contrast, was killed while spreading his moral philosophy. In this way, Simon ”and Lord of the Flies as a whole”echoes Christian ideas and themes without developing explicit, precise parallels with them.

The novel’s biblical parallels enhance its moral themes but are not necessarily the primary key to interpreting the story. Symbols Symbols are objects, characters, figures, and colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. The Conch Shell Ralph and Piggy discover the conch shell on the beach at the start of the novel and se it to summon the boys together after the crash separates them. Used in this capacity, the conch shell becomes a powerful symbol of civilization and order in the novel. The shell effectively governs the boys’ meetings, for the boy who holds the shell holds the right to speak.

In this regard,the shell is more than a symbol”it is an actual vessel of political legitimacy and democratic power. As the island civilization erodes and the boys descend into savagery, the conch shell loses its power and influence among them. Ralph clutches the shell desperately when he talks about his role in murdering Simon. Later, the other boys ignore Ralph and throw stones at him when he attempts to blow the conch in Jacks camp. The boulder that Roger rolls onto Piggy also crushes the conch shell, signifying the demise of the civilized instinct among almost all the boys on the island.

Piggys Glasses Piggy is the most intelligent, rational boy in the group, and his glasses represent the power of science and intellectual endeavor in society. This symbolic significance is clear from the start of the novel, when the boys use the lenses from Piggy’s glasses to focus the sunlight and start a fire. When Jacks hunters raid Ralph’s camp and steal he glasses, the savages effectively take the power to make fire, leaving Ralph’s group helpless. The Signal Fire The signal fire burns on the mountain, and later on the beach, to attract the notice of passing ships that might be able to rescue the boys.

As a result, the signal fire becomes a barometer of the boys’ connection to civilization. In the early parts of the novel, the fact that the boys maintain the fire is a sign that they want to be rescued and return to society. When the fire burns low or goes out, we realize that the boys have lost sight of their desire to be rescued and have accepted their savage lives on he island. The signal fire thus functions as a kind of measurement of the strength of the civilized instinct remaining on the island.

Ironically, at the end of the novel, a fire finally summons a ship to the island, but not the signal fire. Instead, it is the fire of savagery”the forest fire Jacks gang starts as part of his quest to hunt and kill Ralph. The Beast The imaginary beast that frightens all the boys stands for the primal instinct of savagery that exists within all human beings. The boys are afraid of the beast, but only Simon reaches the realization that they fear the beast because it exists within ach of them. As the boys grow more savage, their belief in the beast grows stronger.

By the end of the novel, the boys are leaving it sacrifices and treating it as a totemic the boys act, the more real the beast seems to become. The Lord of the Flies The Lord of the Flies is the bloody, severed sows head that Jack impales on a stake in the forest glade as an offering to the beast. This complicated symbol becomes the most important image in the novel when Simon confronts the sows head in the glade and it seems to speak to him, telling him that evil lies within every human heart and romising to have some “fun” with him. This”fun” foreshadows Simon’s death in the following chapter. ) In this way, the Lord of the Flies becomes both a physical manifestation of the beast, a symbol of the power of evil, and a kind of Satan figure who evokes the beast within each human being. Looking at the novel in the context of biblical parallels, the Lord of the Flies recalls the devil, Just as Simon recalls Jesus. In fact, the name “Lord of the Flies” is a literal translation of the name of the biblical name Beelzebub, a powerful demon in hell sometimes thought to be the devil himself.

Ralph, Piggy, Jack, Simon, and Roger Lord of the Flies is an allegorical novel, and many of its characters signify important ideas or themes. Ralph represents order, leadership, and civilization. Piggy represents the scientific and intellectual aspects of civilization. Jack represents unbridled savagery and the desire for power. Simon represents natural human goodness. Roger represents brutality and bloodlust at their most extreme. To the extent that the boys’ society resembles a political state, the littluns might be seen as the common people, while the older boys represent the ruling classes and political eaders.

The relationships that develop between the older boys and the younger ones emphasize the older boys’ connection to either the civilized or the savage instinct: civilized boys like Ralph and Simon use their power to protect the younger boys and advance the good of the group; savage boys like Jack and Roger use their power to gratify their own desires, treating the littler boys as objects for their own amusement The loss of innocence is evident in most characters of The Lord of The Flies. The spar between Jack and Ralph appears to be constantly stirring.

It occurs in the begging of he novel with the election of Ralph as chief all the way to the hunting of pigs. It seems that all Jack wants to do is hunt and kill even before they have any shelter to protect them from the elements. For example in chapter 3 it was said by Jack, “We want meat” (pg 54). Jack says this on more than one occasion. It is also evident that the boys are becoming more and more savage. For example in chapter eight during the successful hunt of a pig Jack says, “Pick up the pig. “This head is for the beast” referring to the sows head (pg 137). The head of the pig was impaled upon a spear through the ground as an offering for the beast. Towards the end of the novel it has become self-evident that the innocence of the boys has been completely lost. It at one point had gotten so bad that instead of hunting for food for the necessity of food, human beings were killed. For example, in chapter 11 a young boy named Roger, a sadist, rolled a boulder down a hill during a feud and killed piggy.

Another example of loss of innocence can be provided in chapter 10 where Simon goes to tell the boys of the “real” beast while the boys are in a chant screaming, “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill His Blood!. ” Simon is stabbed with a spear and dies. Society is a key element lacking in The Lord Of The Flies causing the new erratic behavior among the Lord of the Flies can be read, at least in part, as a religious allegory. It features the character Simon as a Christ-figure who is killed by the other boys.

Following this train of thought, the island can be seen as the Garden of Eden, before it was corrupted by mankind and his evil activities (as represented by the beast) (the “snake-thing”). On a less complex level, there are many generally religious or superstitious images in the novel: Jack as the god, garlanded and sitting on a log as he presides over his feast, he name “the Lord of the Flies,” the rituals that the boys engage in as they replay the pig hunts over and over, and the sacrifice that they leave for the beast. The pig head, impaled on a stake, seems to be a kind of god itself.