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In "Lord of the Flies", what does the assembly platform symbolize?

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v2009 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 13, 2008 at 7:52 AM via web

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In "Lord of the Flies", what does the assembly platform symbolize?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 13, 2008 at 8:34 AM (Answer #1)

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The assembly platform is where Ralph and Piggy originally sat and used the conch to gather the boys from all over the island.  It is where Ralph is voted leader and where he brings the boys to gather when he wants to "govern" - to give duties and chastise and debate about what should be done. 

One had to sit, attracting all eyes to the conch, and drop words like heavy round stones among the little groups that crouched or squatted. 

Thus, the platform represents the seat of government on the island.  Without the platform - no government, anarchy ensues. 

And htis is exactly what happens.  Slowly, the power of the assembly is undermined by Jack, and fewer and fewer boys gather at the platform.  Before the end, it is only Ralph, Piggy, Sam and Eric.  Then the platform - i.e., the government of the island - is attacked by Jack and the hunters, who take Piggy's glasses.  When this happens, all power has shifted to Jack's group and away from the assembly, and this is the beginning of the end - no more civilization on the island.  

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