Lord of the Flies

The Relationship Between Symbolism and Theme in Lord of the Flies

In real life, common objects that are used everyday are often taken for granted and even unusual sights, as well as ideas, are often unrecognized. However, this is seldom the case with similar objects and ideas that literary characters encounter. Many authors use seemingly ordinary, trivial objects in addition to unique elements to symbolize ideas or concepts that help to reveal the theme of their works. In William Golding's Lord of the Flies, the boys who are stranded on the island without supervision come in contact with many such elements. Through the use of symbols such as the beast, the pig's head, and even Piggy's specs, Golding demonstrates that humans, when liberated from society's rules and taboos, allow their natural capacity for evil to dominate their existence.

One of the most important and most obvious symbols in Lord of the Flies is the object that gives the novel its name, the pig's head. Golding's description of the slaughtered animal's head on a spear is very graphic and even frightening. The pig's head is depicted as "dim-eyed, grinning faintly, blood blackening between the teeth," and the "obscene thing" is covered with a "black blob of flies" that...

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