Symbolism – Lord of the Flies

Elements in the text that represent something greater.

When thinking about symbolism:

1.How is it described/introduced in the text?
2. How is it ‘used’?
3. Find quotes where it is mentioned
4. What ideas does it convey?


  • Conch

2. The conch is used as a tool, whoever has it is allowed to speak and those who don’t aren’t but this isn’t allows the case.
4. It conveys ideas about law and order, being the thing that is seen as important. It is fragile because it is a shell so it conveys ideas about the boys actually being fragile because of the events that are occurring.

  • Piggy’s Glasses


  • Smoke
  • Pigs head “Simon found he was looking into a vast mouth. There was blackness within, a blackness that spread.” Page 159.
    The ‘blackness’ being the symbolism of death, darkness, violence etc.

In the novel of Lord of the Flies the author William Golding uses symbolism as a technique to convey alternative ideas about the world. The novel is a story about a group of English students who become stranded on an island, we follow them along their journey to try escape and be rescued but conflict between the students leads them to unnecessary problems. Symbolism is used many times, an example of this is when the ‘hunters’ kill the sow and leave the head on a stick for the beast as a peace-offering. This haunts the character Simon. “Simon found he was looking into a vast mouth. There was blackness within, a blackness that spread.” This is a quote describing what the ‘head on the stick’ looked like. Within the story this pigs head is seen as the devil. This blackness is apart of that, this quote is written from Simon’s perspective so it’s symbolizing the darkness within Simon’s head at this time because of the conflict between the two main characters that is effecting him and also the darkness that is at the back of his mind, just like everyone’s. Blackness also symbolises violence, violence is within everyone, it is something that is either hidden or seen in a person. When people are faced with challenges, much like those in the story, this violence awakens and is shown 

Add about the violence in the wider world, about how its a part of our humanity, think of an event in the outer world or personal that shows the violence.
Talk about what the book actually says the pigs head symbolizes – the devil, find a quote to assist this.















This blackness is also symbolizing the violence everywhere on the island; violence is a key part in humanity but more often than not it isn’t present, though when times get tough it becomes present like at this time for these English boys where they are out of their comfort zone and just trying to survive something that they never knew they would ever have to go through.

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