Lord Of The Flies

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade April 2001

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The sow's head and the conch shell both are symbolic in the story. The conch shell is white and symbolizes the good, the organization, and the unification of the boys. The sow's head or the Lord of the Flies is also white but it symbolizes something totally different. It symbolizes mad chaos and disunity. Both the conch shell and the sow's head have a since of power among the boys.

The conch shell symbolizing the good, organization, and unification is found in many examples throughout the story. One example would be the finding of the conch shell and the first meeting. This shows the organization and the unity of the boys. The boys decide to let who ever has the conch speak and this brings up a new symbol. The new symbol is civilization, because by communicating and having order it makes the boys civilized. The conch in a way represents Piggy because he found it and he wanted to live by the conch.

When Piggy was killed, in a way so was the conch because it was smashed into pieces just like Piggy was. When the conch was broken into pieces the whole unification, civilization, and the good of the boys was all gone just like that. If the conch hadn't existed neither the boys nor the civilization would have never existed either. So in a way the conch was there to remind the boys throughout the story the goodness that each one of them had deep down inside.

The sow's head was the exact opposite of the conch shell; it symbolized mad chaos and disunity of the boys. The sow's head is white because of all of the insects ate the flesh off of it and that's a representation of the evilness in the sow's head. The sow's head was evil to Simon because when Simon saw it and it started to talk to him he went to go to tell the rest of the boys and the boys killed him at the "dance". The sow's head basically killed Simon indirectly. This is all evil because Simon was one of the boys who had pure goodness within him and wasn't influenced by Jack.

The power that the conch and the sow's head among the boys was tremendous. Again the conch representing the power of the goodness of the group and the sow's head the power of the evil group. The comparison of the sow's head and the conch shell is like the good side of your consciousness and the bad side of your consciousness. The Simon incident represents both the power and the symbolism of the sow's head. It represents power because it shows how the sow's head was able to kill the good. Its like with your conscious, your bad is always trying to defeat the good and usually succeeds. The power of the conch shell is just as tremendous, because just that shell held the boys together and unified the boys. The only thing the sow's head did was make the boys not be unified, so that again shows how much power the evil has over the good. Even though the evil sow's head had the power to get most of the boys to become evil with Jack, the conch had the power to keep one person alone which would be very tough to be all alone on that island with no one on your side. That's just as big of an accomplishment of the evil had on the boys.

The conch and the sow's head both played a huge role in symbolism and power throughout the story, but in the end it didn't matter who was good or evil it just mattered who survived or not, in my opinion. Another interesting point was Ralph, the only good one left, could have tried to run off with the naval man and said all the others are murderers and not to let them come home, but he never said anything to the man about who died and how they died (or did he?).