13 November 2018
Influence of the Conch Shell in Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, is a disturbing novel that follows a group of young
boys stranded on an undiscovered island. After their crash on the island, the boys have to make
up for the lack of adult authority with personal responsibility and leadership. While doing so,
they encounter their inner flaws that reflect on those of society. To display these struggles,
Golding uses many different symbols throughout the novel. The clearest and most important
symbol is the conch shell, which symbolizes authority and order within the children. The usage
of this symbol helps reveal traits of the characters and supports the theme throughout the novel.
After coming together on the island, the boys decide they need to appoint a leader of their
group. One of them says “Him with the shell, let him be chief,” which shows the significance of
the conch and how much influence it has on the boys early in the novel (Golding). Once
appointed leader, Ralph makes the the conch a symbol of authority when he says, “I’ll give the
conch to the next person to speak, and he won’t be interrupted.” This action proves the
significance of the conch which is essential to tracking the relation of the symbol to the theme.
By using the conch shell as a symbol to represent authority and order, Golding portrays
traits of the characters and how their actions affect the novel. For example, Jack...