Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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What does the conch literally and figuratively represent in Lord of the Flies?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Lord of the Flies is full of symbols, all of which Golding uses masterfully to reinforce his larger theme of civilization versus savagery. Since no literary figure can ever be a literal representation, you are probably asking for the metaphoric and the deeper symbolic represetations of the conch.  At the beginning of the novel, the conch metaphorically represents authority on the island.  The shell gives Ralph the power to summon the...

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