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...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 873 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6695 literature essays, 1804 sample college application essays, 276 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in