The Symbolism of the Conch in Lord of the Flies, by Golding

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 11th grade March 1996

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In William Golding's Lord of the Flies the Conch represents power and order. Power is represented by the fact that you have to be holding it to speak, and Order is displayed by the meetings or gatherings that its used to call and hold.

The Conch's power is presented in the very beginning on pg 22 as the children vote for Ralph to be chief just because he was the one with the Conch. ' 'Him with the shell.' 'Ralph! Ralph!' 'Let him be chief with the trumpet thing' ' this excerpt from pg 22 shows how everybody seems to think that power, responsibility and leadership skills comes from the Conch. Another Example of the Conch's Power is the fact that through out the book the conch is the only tool that can call a meeting and wherever the Conch is thats where the meeting is. No other symbol in Lord of the Flies holds so much power.

This is one of the reasons that Jack Merridew disrespects the Conch. He wants to break the spell the symbol has on everybody. He wants to prove that he is the rightful leader.

The Conch also displays order through the rule that you must have the Conch to Speak in an assembly or meeting. 'And another thing. We can't have everybody talking at once. We'll have to have 'hands up' like at school.' At first everyone thinks that this is the best method to maintain order but soon they find out how quickly the power of the conch is abused by Ralph and Jack. On pg 89 While Simon is trying to speak Ralph and Jack try to get him to sit down. ' 'Sit down' 'Shut up' 'take the Conch!' 'Sod you' ' Shut up!' ' This shows early on...