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A Full Circle Towards Devolution

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In Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses fire, a conch, a pair of glasses, and several other items to symbolize the journal from civility to savagery.

Through the symbol of the conch, the importance of stability, order, and civilization are established. When the boys first arrived on the island the conch was used to summon and unite the boys in order to form a civilization. The conch also serves as a regulator of democracy, " We'll have to have hands up, like at school... then I'll give them the conch [to speak]" (Golding 31) said Ralph. This universal understanding that everyone would follow and respect the rules of the conch allowed every individual to speak his mind and to be a functioning member of society. However, as time progressed the mutual respect for authority and the power of the conch began to diminish. The assembly began to disrespect the whoever held the conch. As a result, the rules of their society began to become unstable. "As Piggy stood on the platform, the white conch gripped in his hands..." (141), the conch that was once vibrant in color and importance, was now faded and irrelevant. As the walls of civilized society crumbled, the boys gave into their animal desires and disregarded the only element of order apparent on the island. The symbol of order and civilization continued to lose its value as Jack mocked its importance. "The sound of the inexpertly blown conch interrupted them. As though he were serenading the

rising sun, Jack went on blowing till the shelters were astir," (125). This furthermore shows the lack of respect for rules and civilization. Finally, when "the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist," (193) it symbolized the end of moral civilization and authority. All of the strict rules, values, and morals of their previous lives were lost along with the destruction of the conch; thus, giving birth to a society of total anarchy and immorality.

A substantially important symbol is Piggy's glasses, which symbolize the boys' disregard to knowledge and hope. From the beginning of the novel Piggy is shown as a reasonable thinker. Despite being described as short and fat, Piggy is the most determined to survive and escape from the island in a civilized manner. In fact, he is the only who believes that they will be saved. All of Piggy's hope to be saved can be traced back to his glasses. For example, once Piggy is robbed of his glasses by Jack, he and the boys are robbed of everything those glasses stood for.

Another important symbol in Lord of The Flies is the symbol of the fire, which represented the boys' will to be rescued from immorality and returned to the cultured world of civilization. In the beginning, maintaining the fire was the first priority amongst the boys. However, as time marched on, the desire to return to the regular world died, and the boys adapted to a savage lifestyle. It comes to the point where even Ralph begins to doubt his hope in being rescued when he says, "'we



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