Evil Is Present Lord of the Flies by William Golding | Directions Analyze how Golding uses symbols to reveal his ideas about the nature of man and society.

Essay by loocsiksm May 2004

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Golding describes it as, "...an anarchic, amoral driving force." In his novel, Lord of the Flies, Golding fully embodies the theme that "Defects in society can be traced back to defects of human nature." This human nature is shown in the microcosm created on the island that Ralph and the boys land on. With the democratic Ralph and his conch, order at first prevails on the island. Also, Simon's raw goodness and morality along with Piggy's intelligence and reason influence their society in a positive way. However, as these characters gradually lose their control on the group, evil begins to dominate.

Ralph and his conch bring democracy to the island, and together, order on the island is present. The conch is introduced early in the book. Ralph blows a "deep, harsh note boomed under the palms..." and becomes the symbol of democracy by calling the boys to a meeting. Ralph, the one who called the boys to the meeting, is voted as the leader, a beginning of a democratic government.

Whoever held the conch was given the authority to talk in the meeting. As much as these rules seemed to hold the group together, the rules are first broken when Jack interrupts Piggy. This begins the decline of order on the island. The end of stability on the island comes when the conch is destroyed. Soon thereafter, Ralph and Samneric are abandoned and set as outcasts from Jack and his hunters, and democracy is nonexistent.

Piggy's intelligence is another positive influence on the island. At first, he is ridiculed and misunderstood. Piggy symbolizes science and technology. He has poor eyesight, but he allows the boys to use his glasses to start fires. Ralph first utilizes them to spark a signal fire with hopes of being rescued by a boat or...