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The Conch

 

In the same manner that a song on the radio can remind someone of a time in their life, an object in a story can help someone to further understand what is taking place. This method of subliminal messages through inanimate objects is symbolism, a technique that is used countless times in the novelLord of the Flies by William Golding. Although much of the symbolism that appears in this story is cryptic in meaning, one case of symbolism in this book really stands out. When the plane wrecked boys reach the empty island one of the first things they discover is a white conch shell which appears several times through the course of the story. The white conch shell, being symbolic of the state of civilization on the island, helps to display the beginning of a mini-civilization, the slow deterioration of the this civilization, and finally the extinction of all civilization on the island.

With the early discovery of the conch comes the first symbolic use of the shell, as it before all else symbolizes the rise of civilization on the island.

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