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These two characters symbolize polar opposites, good and evil.
is an ingenious work of literature in which the author, William Golding, explores the issues of civilization and savagery.
Throughout the novel, the author hides powerful messages in some very unlikely places, and Golding's use of this literary technique - symbolism - is the subject of this essay.
The first symbol that becomes evident is the conch shell.
When the shell is first discovered lying on the sandy beach it is blown to signal all the boys, scattered across the island, to meet at one spot.
The signal fire can be viewed as a sign of hope - the hope the boys have to return to society.
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When the flames dance brightly, it shows the enthusiasm they hold for the idea of being rescued.This statement symbolizes that Satan is within all humanity, including English boys, and that it is he that causes sinful and savage behaviour. The boys paint their faces with mud and other such materials.This shows the level of savagery they have reached, and their return to primal human instincts.However, as the boys slowly turn to their savage instincts, the power of the conch shell is eroded.Ralph is holding the shell while he laughs maniacally about Simon’s death.The introduction of the Beast signals the beginning of savagery, and as the boys grow more savage their belief in the beast increases correspondingly.When the boys reach the climax of their savagery they begin worshipping the Beast and attributing inhuman qualities, such as shape-shifting, to it, and their savagery increases to the point where they kill an innocent boy.It is people who lived before civilization, or those now living in an uncivilized society that apply face paint in order either to camouflage themselves to merge with their surroundings while hunting, or to celebrate in a wild manner.The island where the boys are stranded is a representation of the world and the children display the different roles of society. He shows the sophisticated side of man and holds the position of a democratic leader.While these three represent the goodness existing in humanity, Jack and Roger symbolize evil.Jack shows the power-hungry and savage end of society while Roger represents brutality and bloodlust.