In Lord of the Flies, what decision is made about the conch? Why?

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dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The boys decide to use the conch as a physical representation of order. The conch serves as a governing devise. In order to speak the person must hold the conch, at which time the individual has "the floor" so to speak. The boys decide to use the conch in this manner in order to maintain their perception of civilization. Democratic societies create governments to maintain order.The premise is that free societies choose to place restrictions on themselves to perserve the greater good of the group. Ironically, when the boys begin to ignore their own rules regarding the conch, it becomes clear that their attempt to maintain order using this governing technique begins to disintegrate.

dneshan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In “Lord of the Flies” the conch is originally used after Ralph and Piggy find it on the beach in order to get the entire group of boys together in one place.  Eventually, the conch is used as a symbol of power – the person with the conch is the only person that is permitted to speak.  The boys realize that during their meetings they can not allow everyone to speak or argue at once -- they need some way to recognize the person who is speaking and this is how the conch comes to be used in the novel.  Therefore, the decision that is made about the conch is that it will be used as a way of allowing someone to take the floor during their meetings.

katemschultz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The boys decide that whoever is hold the conch will be the one to speak. The boys decide they need some sort of order to their society or chaos will ensue. Unfortunately, since there is no one to enforce these rules, their society, despite their best intentions, dissolves into chaos and disorder.

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Lord of the Flies

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