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Symbolism – Lord of the Flies

Piggy’s Glasses

Piggy is intelligent. His glasses represent the power of science and intellectual endeavour in society. This symbolic significance is clear from the start of the novel. When Jack’s hunters raid Ralph’s camp and steal the glasses, we see that these characters have given up on the ideas of science and intellect.

The Beast

The beast stands for the primal instinct of savagery. The boys are afraid of the beast. As the boys grow more savage, their belief in the imaginary beast also grows. The boys leave it sacrifices and treat it as a totemic god. The boys’ behaviour is what brings the beast into existence.

The Island

Golding’s tropical island is essentially a symbolic Garden of Eden. While the uninhabited island represents paradise, the boys’ arrival soon changes this.

The Adults

Adults symbolise civilisation. However, the World War raging outside the island makes it clear that the adult “civilisation” is as savage as the boys’ “civilisation“.

Can you think of any other symbols from The Lord of the Flies? Let us know in the comments below!

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