Book-Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Essay by BoonieBearJunior High, 9th grade December 2003

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The essay has to do with describing the sybolic meaning of the conch shell, and how it progresses through the book. In my opionion I beleive that The conch represents order and civilization. There really isn't any right answer to exactly what the conch really represents. Its all about what you believe to be true.

The first important discovery that Piggy and Ralph make on the Island after the crash was a very large shell, specifically a conch shell. Which becomes a large powerful symbol between the boys.

It was used to summon the boys together after being separated by the crash. It became a powerful symbol of civilization and order. It was used to govern all the meetings; the boy who held the conch was given the right to speak. It became more than a symbol, it was an actual vessel of political legitimacy and democratic power.

As the islands civilization started to erode and savagery begins to dominate the boys, the conch shell starts losing its power and influence around them. The spirals of the conch shell also represent everything on the island spiraling out of control. Ralph had clutched it desperately when he talks about the role he played in the murder of Simon. And later he was taunted and pelted with stones when he attempted to blow it at Jacks camp at Castle Rock. When the conch ceased to exist so did their civilization. Everything that was good was left only inside the conch.

Even thought the boys realized the conch was just a shell the boys "felt" the strong powerful symbolic meaning of it even though they really didn't understand how or truly why? But when Roger kills Piggy with a boulder, the conch shell was also crushed which signified the complete demise...