The conch is a powerful symbol on the island. Discuss why this is so using real-world examplesi am preparing for a fishbowl discussion tomorrow and need some ideas!

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jseligmann eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Lord of the Flies," when the conch is blown, the children hear it, and they go to where it is. The conch, then is a call for all to assemble, and it represents the order of the assembled children and well-behaved, respectful communication. It is thus real and symbolic at the same time. When you hear the conch, you come together as a group, and then, once assembled, if you hold the conch, you have the right to speak. The conch represents the right to assemble and freedom of speech.

Perhaps the earliest example of such an idea is the ancient Hebrew's use of a ram's horn, known as the Shofar. The Shofar was, and still is, used to announce the new year, Rosh Hashanah, and to call all Jews to the temple. It is also used to mark the end of Yom Kippur. Ironically, in terms of "Lord of the Flies," the blast of the Shofar was also used to amass worriers and to announce an advance on the enemy.

parkerlee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I found some interesting information of the use of conch horns throughout various ancient and modern day cultures, from Phonecian times to the present. I'm sure you will find the following article a helpful reference and discussion starter, as the examples and details given are so precise.

In Golding's 'Lord of the Files,' the conch represents social order, civilization and even democracy (as each boy could, in possession of it, have his say). It is the antipode to Jack's spear, for which the only law to the holder is "might is right."

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Lord of the Flies

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