Symbolism is used in literature to provide detail and imagery to any plot or
character. Authors use symbols to enhance the experience of the novel. William Golding
uses many symbols in Lord of the Flies thus enhancing its meaning and overall impact
on the reader. Through the use of symbols, Golding allows readers to understand the
ideas and themes he is trying to convey.
One symbol in the novel is Piggy's eyeglasses. His glasses represent his intellect
and ability to think clearly. When it mentions in the novel that Piggy's glasses are foggy
or they are being cleaned, it symbolizes that Piggy's emotions are getting in the way of
his reasoning. "Piggy's glasses were misted again- this time with humiliation." (25)
When his eyeglasses were broken, Piggy was unable to clear his emotions. "'One side's
broken.' Piggy grabbed and put on the glasses. He looked malevolently at Jack." (71) As
a result, Piggy's decisions and actions were clouded by his emotions and desires other
than being influenced by his intellect and reasoning.
By his glasses being used as a
symbol, it helps us understand Piggy's character better.
Another object that could be interpreted and analyzed as a symbol is the conch
shell. The conch symbolizes order and rules in a society. In the novel, when the conch is
present and acknowledged, there is order. "Ralph felt the conch lifted from his lap. Then
Piggy was standing cradling the great cream shell and the shouting died down." (33)
However, when the boys forget about the conch, they seem to also forget about their
obligation to be civilized. Jack knew that if he detached himself from the conch he is
detaching himself from civilization. Therefore, he chose not to abide by it when he
created his own tribe. "You haven't got it...