Lord of the Flies Symbols

  1. Boys as a whole
    • whole group of boys can represent humanity as a whole
    • the island is the entire world
    • two governments, two countries etc.
    • fighting of the boys is equivalent to a war
  2. The Conch
    • No boy may speak unless he is holding the conch and once he is holding it, he cannot be interrupted.
    • The boys have imposed this “rule of the conch” on themselves, and thus the conch represents society’s rules, politics, and speech.
    • After the conch is broken in to a thousand pieces, Jack runs forward screaming that now he can be chief
    • The reason he couldn’t be chief before, at least not his kind of chief, is that the conch still allowed Piggy to quiet all the others boys down and demand they listen.
  3. Fire
    • At the beginning of the novel, the boys light the fire in an attempt to be rescued by a ship or a plane passing by.
    • At this point, the fire represents the boys' desire to be rescued from the island.
    • When the fire begins to burn out, it symbolises how the boys are no longer desperate to be rescued, their main ambition is to hunt animals for food.
    • Burning out of the fire symbolises how the boys have settled in to the island and are quite happy to live like savages.
    • As time goes on, the fire becomes a symbol of destruction as it is with fire that Jack and his tribe try to hunt and kill Ralph.
  4. Piggy's Glasses
    • The glasses are a symbol of advancement, of innovation and discovery
    • The glasses are one of the main connections that the boys have with the real world and when they break it symbolises how each day they are breaking free of society and rules and into the dark realms of primitive instinct.
  5. Pighunts
    • The multiple hunts of pigs in LOF, symbolises the capacity for human cruelty.
    • Originally the hunting of pigs was soley for food however as time passes they become symbolic for the power that the boys have over all animals
  6. The Beast
    • The imaginary beast that frightens all the boys stands for the primal instinct of savagery that exists within all human beings. The boys are afraid of the beast, but only Simon reaches the realization that they fear the beast because it exists within each of them. As the boys grow more savage, their belief in the beast grows stronger.
    • The boys’ behavior is what brings the beast into existence, so the more savagely the boys act, the more real the beast seems to become.
Card Set
Lord of the Flies Symbols