“Lord of the Flies” by William Golding is an allegorical novel that revolves around the idea that the innate human is evil. Golding profoundly used a group of boys and a deserted island to deliver his message instead of writing about it directly. Therefore, the symbolism was an utterly important part of the novel and the items on the island such as the conch and the Lord of the Flies all have a purpose in developing the theme: civilization vs. savagery.
The conch was the most obvious symbol in the novel. The valuable-looking shell that Ralph and Piggy had found became the symbol of democracy, order, rules, and civilization. It functioned to gather people together and determined who had the right to speak. The development of the conch throughout the novel shows a lot about the theme. At first, most boys obeyed the conch, which meant the savage and evil inside them had not yet come out. As the novel went on, conch lost its value as the savagery increased. At last, the rock that Roger rolled “struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee” and “the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist” (Golding 175). At that moment, with the murder of Piggy, the order was completely destroyed, so was the conch. The last piece of goodness in the boys “exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist”.
The Lord of the Flies was clearly another important symbol. The bloody, scary-looking sow’s head which was initially Jack’s offering to the beast was encountered by Simon, probably the most profound and civil character in the novel. This might be interpreted as a biblical allusion since the phrase “Lord of the Flies” is a translation of Beelzebub, a demon from hell. Simon, in that case, would represent a Prophet, a good-hearted, wise person. The Lord of the Flies says that it’s funny that they thought “the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!” (206). That way, it directly symbolizes the evil in humans and barbarism. Shortly after, Simon dies, which might connect to the theme by the meaning the evil and savagery in humans are far too strong and powerful to be beaten by good.