Lord of the Flies


William Golding

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Lord of the Flies Symbols

The Island

The tropical island, with its bountiful food and untouched beauty, symbolizes paradise. It is like a Garden of Eden in which the boys can try to create the perfect society from scratch. (read full symbol analysis)

The Lord of the Flies (the Beast)

The "Lord of the Flies," or the beast, inhabits the severed pig head that Jack's hunters stake into the ground and leave as an offering. Simon recognizes that the Lord of the Flies is… (read full symbol analysis)

The Conch Shell

The conch shell symbolizes the rule of law and civilization. It's used to call assemblies and as a kind of microphone that grants the right to speak to whomever holds it during assembly. (read full symbol analysis)

Piggy's Glasses

By allowing the boys to create fire, the first necessity of civilization, Piggy's glasses represent science and technology, mankind's power to transform and remake their environment to best suit its needs. (read full symbol analysis)


Fire is a complicated symbol in Lord of the Flies. Like the glasses that create it, fire represents technology. Yet like the atomic bombs destroying the world around the boys' island, fire is a… (read full symbol analysis)

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Adults symbolize civilization and social order to the boys. But to the reader, the world war raging outside the island makes it clear that the adult "civilization" is as savage as the boys' "civilization" on… (read full symbol analysis)

The Scar

A rip in the forest caused by the crash landing of the boys' plane on the island. The scar symbolizes that man, and his savage nature, destroys paradise merely by entering it. (read full symbol analysis)

The Ocean

The ocean symbolizes the unconscious, the thoughts and desires buried deep within all humans. (read full symbol analysis)