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“Discuss The Importance Of The Conch, Piggy’s Glasses And Fire To Lord Of The Flies”

1005 words - 5 pages

The conch, fire and the glasses are all very symbolic items in the Lord of the Flies. Each, when mentioned in the text, carries a certain amount of meaning and Golding uses this to his advantage to convey underlying messages in his book.

The conch that Piggy and Ralph find in the early stages of the book is a very important object throughout the book. This shell has the physical ability to make a sound which summons the group, but also is a symbol of power and authority. The conch is also the object that gives people the right to speak, as during a meeting if an individual is not in direct possession of the conch, they are not permitted to speak. On page 11, Piggy says, referring to ...view middle of the document...

This could be Golding’s first hint at the real importance of Piggy which nobody really realizes (especially Ralph) until he is gone.

Another interesting point on the fragility of the conch is how quickly it is destroyed – “the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist” is the only description of the breaking of the conch we get. It is possible that Golding is intending that it takes practically nothing to break down a leadership or regime, and when it is broken down it breaks down extremely quickly. Golding could have chosen to spend lots of time and words describing the destruction of the shell – one of the most important and influential objects in the novel, but instead he quickly sums up the breakage in two lines of text. It is no accident, also, that at the same time the Conch is destroyed that Piggy is killed. Golding obviously combined these two events to add extra dramatic effect to this section. Golding increased the chaos by killing one of the Main characters at the same time. All of this shows how important the conch is, and how Golding really concentrates on the symbolism of the conch.

Piggy’s glasses are also a symbol – they are the instrument that provides fire to the entire group of boys. Without them, they would not have been able to light the fires to cook food to eat, or light the signal fire. But also, Golding allows the forest fire to occur, and if it hadn’t been for Piggy’s glasses, this would never have happened. Piggy’s glasses are in this novel to imply responsibility and power. Quite literally, ‘With great power comes great...

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