The conch loses its power when Jack and the hunters break off, leaving civilization for savagery.
The conch is symbolic. When the boys first gather together, it is because Ralph blew the conch. From that point on, it holds a sort of mystical quality. Since it had the power to bring them together, they think that it can keep them together. This is why they choose Ralph as leader, even though Jack is a more natural choice. Ralph’s qualifications begin and end with holding and conch.
They boys use the conch to take turns when speaking, acknowledging its power and granting it further power. The conch becomes symbolic of civilization, and control. Whoever has the conch controls the conversation.
“…I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking.”
“And he won’t be interrupted: Except by me.” (Ch. 2)
However, not everyone on the island wants to be civilized. From the beginning, Jack and his choir exhibit...
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