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Symbols in Lord of the Flies

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Shania Rattan

on 30 November 2012

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Transcript of Symbols in Lord of the Flies

Ralph's hair in Lord of the Flies symbolizes the growing savagery. Throughout the book we see that Ralph wants a hair cut or will brush it out of his eyes because he is trying to see past the savagery that the "beast" has created in all the boys, for example in the beginning of the book the boys hair was not as long as well as their behavior was not very savage-like, but that changed rapidly as the time went by for example Ralph had called an assembly on and had explained to the boys on how everything was falling apart and that the happiness and teamwork was slowly disappearing ,as soon as Ralphs hair started to creep into his eyes he lost control of the conch and leadership of the group ,the savagery was taking over.” The hair was creeping into his eyes again.”- page 88 Hair can grow forever as well as their violence can get worst and worst, it will never stop as well as their hair growth will never stop until you cut it. The boys do not have the civilized tools to cut their hair and it is only Ralph who becomes upset at being dirty and not being able to cut his hair. Piggy's hair never seems to grow, yet another characteristic that separates him from the other boys, Golding seems to use hair in the eyes to signify the boys' descent into savage behaviour Golding says, “He was the only boy on the island whose hair never seemed to grow.” The reason for this is because Piggy remains civilized. Piggy respects Ralph’s leadership and never talks out of turn. We know the hair has to be a big deal because the very first words of the novel are, “The boy with fair hair lowered himself down…” –pg 1 Beastie In the novel the beast was used as a symbol of man-kinds essential illness. It was used to show how we as humans have the ability to choose between goodness and evil. As its own entity the beast mainly is shown as some illusive figure that is constantly plaguing the It is the one of the key factors of driving them to decide whether to be savage or not. The boyboys.s who feared the beast the most basically turned the most savage at the end. The way that the boys behave makes the beast even more prominent, the more savage they act, the more evident the beast becomes on the island. As the beast progresses into a larger issue, it is used as a manipulation tool. By using the fear of the beast to his advantage, Jack is able to form his own tribe and execute power. Simon is the only boy who realizes that the beast is actually not a beast, that it is in fact the boys themselves who are the problem. He expresses that when he says “What I mean is…Maybe it’s only us”.(96) By saying this he realizes that we, as humans all have the capability to be good, but that innate reasoning of evil is always there. The choice is there but it is up to the person as to what option suits them. When choosing goodness, Ralph feels that trying to prove the beast is just a fictional figure is almost futile. He expresses this when he thinks that he is facing something ungraspable. The beast shows that fear can override common sense. The Fire in the Lord of the Flies symbolizes there civilization and savagery. Fire can be a good or bad thing in the right or wrong hands. At the beginning of the novel everyone was civilized, even starting a fire for the chance to get noticed by a ship or a plane which might have lead to rescue. On page 40 Jack said, “His specs-use them as burning glasses!” even though Jack took Piggy’s specs forcefully, he knew they needed it if they wanted to start a signal fire to attempt to get rescued, it shows that they were honestly trying. Also when they lit the fire, they irresponsibly let the flames get to big and almost burned the whole island down, and might have killed the little-un who first brought up the beastie. When Jack and Ralph’s group split up Jack’s tribe steals Ralph’s fire supplies and Piggy’s specs, here’s a quote from page 196 “You could have had fire whenever you wanted. But you didn’t. You came sneaking up like a thief and stole Piggy’s glasses!” this quote shows that Ralph is trying to get everyone civilized but Jack has turned into a savage, also Jack after broke Piggy’s glasses which represented the end of civilization. But in the end ironically, there savagery gets them rescued when they were on the hunt for Ralph, and Jack lit the whole forest on fire, eventually a naval ship saw then rescued them. rescue Fire Ralph's Hair The Mountain Butterflies The butterflies in The Lord of The Flies symbolize Simon’s happiness, his peace and calmness with nature, the forest, and the boys and there current situation, how Simon travels to the forest to relax and be calm unlike the other boys who are scared to travel alone in the forest. They show how everything is not evil on the island, and are actually the opposite of the lord of the flies and the boys who act savagely. On page 151 there is a quote that shows how the butterflies try to avoid the evil and travel to a more tranquil and peaceful place, “Even the butterflies deserted the open space where the obscene thing grinned and dripped”. Also this quote shows how the boys are not only becoming more savage and evil, but also their sexual need, "Then Jack found the throat and the hot blood spouted over his hands. The sow collapsed under them and they were heavy and fulfilled upon her. The butterflies still danced, preoccupied in the center of the clearing." The butterflies also symbolize the immortal soul of the island meaning that the island will never die, no matter what the boys do or the world will do it. The island with stood the fire the boys caused, and even a plane crash causing massive damage to the island known as the scar. The scar also represents the evil that humans have brought on the world, relating to the back to the butterflies. Symbols in Lord of the Flies By : Shania R., Carly P. , Natasha K. , Saheb S. and Jordan H. The mountain in The Lord of the Flies has a lot of symbolic significance to the novel. The mountain represents hope, because that’s where they decided to build the fire to be rescued, so that it would be seen by passing ships. Whenever the fire was lit on top of the mountain they all thought that there was a possibility of rescue: “There’s another thing. We can help them to find us. If a ship comes near the island they may not notice us. So we must make smoke on top of the mountain. We must make fire."(37). The mountain also represents the truth about the beast. If everyone would have just climbed to the top of the mountain as Simon did, they would have figured out that the beast was really just a killed parachuter from the war. But all the boys chose to ignore the knowledge that the mountain held. Also in the beginning of the novel Simon, Ralph, and Jack wanted to know whether or not they were on an island, so they went on an adventure to the top of the mountain so that they could see the truth of the environment around them and their situation. The mountain also symbolizes the struggle that they face on the island. You can climb a mountain if you put in the time and effort in to do so, which is the same thing as staying civilized. It is way easier to just give up and stay at the bottom of the mountain, or become savage, than to conquer the mountain, or to stay civilized. This is a struggle that many of the boys faced; most took the easy way out and followed jacks leadership. So what's with all the Symbolism? William Golding tried to portray that society is essentially evil. He basically tries to portray that instead of believing that evil is in other places, we should instead look into ourselves because evil does reside in all of us. He does this by using objects that have symbolic values as references to ideas, characters that symbolize important people, and the setting which frames the conflicts on the island in comparison to the whole world. The story is itself a study in mankind's capacity for evil, which is even more gruesome when coming from young boys. When all the trappings of rules, regulations, and proper leadership are stripped away, what often remains is the dark ugliness of the human soul. Which was what Golding was trying to get across, as he did write this after World War 2. He was influenced by the death and brutality of human nature around him. William Golding
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