What's any significant symbolism surrounding the character Ralph during the events of the story in Lord of the Flies?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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One of the most significant pieces of symbolism in connection to Ralph in Lord of the Flies is the conch shell.  Found early on in the novel by Ralph and Piggy, the conch shell comes to symbolize law and order, the rules of the tribe, and ultimately civilization.  Ralph, as the original chief of the tribe institutes the conch as a symbol of order in their first tribal meeting, advising the other boys to use it as a sign of whose turn it is to speak during the meeting.  Ralph and the conch remain linked throughout the book as symbols of power and order, up until the fateful chapter when Jack takes control as chief at Castle Rock and the conch is shattered when Piggy is killed by Roger's carefully aimed boulder.


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