What quotes in the novel Lord of the Flies can be used to support the statement: "the platform is symbolic of democratic power"?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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"A great platform of pink granite thrust up uncompromisingly through forest and terrace and sand and lagoon to make a raised jetty four feet high.  The top of this was covered with a thin layer of soil and coarse grass and shaded with young palm trees" (12).

The platform in Lord of the Flies is one of the most significant locations in the novel.  Used by the boys as the meeting place for all of their assemblies, the platform easily comes to represent the notion of democracy in the novel.  In the very first assembly the boys clamor to elect a chief:

"'Let's have a vote.'


'Vote for chief!'

'Let's vote--'

This toy of voting was almost as pleasing as the conch'" (22).

Then later, Ralph deepens the democratic approach by insisting that all the boys have a voice and chance to speak at the tribal meetings by using the conch; any boy can contribute and he "can hold it when he's speaking" (33). 

Contrastingly, as Jack begins to challenge the democratic system of the platform, he naturally moves his tribe and meetings to another venue, Castle Rock, where his power can reign supreme without input from the others.  The composition of the platform versus Castle Rock also reveals the differences between Ralph's democratic system and Jack's dictatorship.  At the platform the boys all sat equally on logs and at the same height, but at Castle Rock, Jack sits higher than the other boys who "lay in a semicircle before him" (160).


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