The Conch Shell and the Sow's Head

The Conch Shell and the Sow's Head

  • Submitted By: jackiescott
  • Date Submitted: 11/16/2009 1:09 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1203
  • Page: 5
  • Views: 4

There are many symbols in William Golding’s Lord Of The Flies. Two of the most important symbols in the book are the conch shell and the sow’s head. Each symbol holds a different power over the boys, as well as an opposite power. The two symbols also have a different boy who introduced them to the story. Like the symbols, the two boys are both complete opposites.

I think that the conch shell represents order and civilization. Ralph is the boy who introduced the conch to the rest of the boys, and he too is a symbol in the book. He represents the same thing as the conch. The power the conch holds over the boys is a power the forces them to stay civilized. The sow’s head is a symbol of savagery and destruction. The boy who introduced the idea of the sow’s head on a stick was Jack, and Jack too is a symbol in the book. Jack stands for savagery. You know right from the start of the novel the Jack is not like the other boys, and that he’s a savage because of what he tells Ralph that he wants him and his choir to be. When asked what he would like to do on the island he replies “Hunters” (Golding, page 19.) The power the sow’s head holds over the boys is more of fear than a power. The sow’s head is a constant reminder that they are living like savages. I think it also reminds the boys that if they can kill a pig then they would probably kill one of the others.

To Simon the sow’s head holds a completely different power over him. To Simon the sow’s head represents craziness. Simon is different than the other boys, so that might by why the sow’s head is different for him. When the other boys are fighting, Simon goes to his private glade in the forest. The thing that gave me the idea that the sow’s head represents something different to Simon is because Simon has a conversation with it. Also because the conversation sounds like something that would’ve came out of Simon’s head, because Simon never really believed in a beast on the island and the sow’s head...

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