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In the novel, Lord of the Flies, what do the island, Piggy, Ralph, Simon, and the conch...

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yolala | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 16, 2012 at 10:40 AM via web

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In the novel, Lord of the Flies, what do the island, Piggy, Ralph, Simon, and the conch symbolically represent?

I have to write an essay on how the following are symbolic. The first paragraph is about how the island is symbolic, then the second on simon, ralph and piggy, and then how the conch is symbolic. I'm having difficulty on how to write an essay in detail. Any help would be greatly appreciated. : ) Thanks a bunch...

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted January 17, 2012 at 3:21 AM (Answer #1)

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In William Golding's novel, Lord of the Flies, many symbols appear. Remember that symbols represent or stand for something else. The island itself is a symbol for the world that the boys have left behind, a microcosm of the civilized world they once belonged to.  Ralph is a symbol of leadership and rules; he is the one who tries to set up rules to live by so that they can all be rescued.  Piggy is the symbol, in my opinion, for two things.  The more important of the two is that he represents the intellectuals as shown by the glasses and the intelligent use of them to start a fire.  The other is that he represents the outcasts; in every society it seems, there are always people who are different and picked on because of it.  Simon represents the protector, those who provide care and protection for the young ones.  The conch symbolizes democracy by conferring speaking rights on the holder while others listen and take turns just as a democracy would do.  Golding's use of symbols in this novel help the reader understand symbols as representing something else.

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