Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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What does the conch shell represent in William Golding's novel, The Lord of the Flies?

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There are a number of possible interpretations of the conch shell's symbolism. Ralph discovers it on the beach, and Piggy suggests using it to make noise to signal for rescue from passing ships. Once it becomes clear that rescue is improbable, the conch is used by Ralph to call the boys together for meetings. In these meetings, whoever holds the conch is allowed to speak. In this way, the conch represents order and civility: it is literally the symbolic object used to denote speaking order and so encourages respect and civil engagement. But eventually, as tension grows and two different factions are formed, the conch is smashed.

Because it is Piggy's idea to use the conch in a useful way (Ralph...

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