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Lord of The Flies Conch Quotes

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Words: 1075 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Mar 5, 2024

Words: 1075|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Mar 5, 2024

In William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies, the conch shell is a powerful symbol that represents order, civilization, and the rule of law. Throughout the story, the conch shell is used to call assemblies and establish rules within the group of boys stranded on the deserted island. As the novel progresses, the conch begins to lose its power and influence, mirroring the breakdown of societal order and the descent into savagery. This essay will explore the significance of the conch shell in Lord of the Flies through a close analysis of key quotes that illustrate its changing role and the boys’ shifting attitudes towards authority and leadership. By examining the conch quotes in the novel, we can gain a deeper understanding of the themes of power, authority, and the loss of innocence that are central to the story. Through this exploration, we will see how the conch shell serves as a metaphor for the fragility of civilization and the inherent darkness within human nature. Ultimately, the conch quotes in Lord of the Flies highlight the tension between order and chaos, and the struggle to maintain a sense of humanity in the face of primal instincts.

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The first significant conch quote in Lord of the Flies is when Piggy first introduces the conch as a means of maintaining order and authority on the island. When he suggests using the conch to call a meeting, he says, "We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They'll come when they hear us" (Golding 16). This quote demonstrates Piggy’s belief in the conch as a symbol of authority and his hope that it will help to establish rules and order among the boys. However, as the story progresses, the conch begins to lose its power as the boys become more unruly and disobedient. This is evident when Jack, who represents the descent into savagery, says, "The conch doesn't count on top of the mountain" (Golding 163). This quote marks a turning point in the novel, as the conch is no longer recognized as a symbol of authority and order, and the boys begin to reject the rules and structure it represents. The significance of these conch quotes lies in their portrayal of the breakdown of civilization and the loss of respect for authority, as well as the growing influence of primal instincts and savagery. Ultimately, these quotes highlight the theme of the fragility of civilization and the struggle to maintain order in the face of the boys’ descent into darkness.

Another important conch quote that illustrates its changing role in Lord of the Flies is when Piggy asserts, "I got the conch… I got the right to speak" (Golding 90). This quote reflects Piggy’s belief in the power of the conch to grant him the authority to speak and be heard, despite his physical weakness and lack of influence. However, this belief is shattered when Roger, representing the brutality and lack of civilization, throws a massive stone at Piggy, causing him to fall to his death and shatter the conch. This act of destruction symbolizes the complete breakdown of order and the loss of innocence among the boys. As Piggy’s death signifies the end of the conch’s influence, the quote serves as a poignant reminder of the futility of maintaining order and the fragility of civilization in the face of primal instincts. The conch quotes in this context highlight the themes of power, authority, and the loss of innocence, as well as the boys’ descent into savagery and the breakdown of societal order.

The final conch quote that emphasizes its changing role in Lord of the Flies is when Ralph desperately clings to the conch as a last-ditch attempt to restore order and reason. He says, "The conch is gone… I'm chief" (Golding 200). This quote signifies Ralph’s realization that the conch, which once symbolized authority and order, has lost its power, and that he must now rely on his own leadership to maintain a sense of humanity among the boys. However, when the naval officer arrives to rescue the boys and they become aware of their actions, they feel a sense of shame and embarrassment. This moment symbolizes their return to civilization and the restoration of order, as well as the realization of the darkness within themselves. The significance of this conch quote lies in its portrayal of the struggle to maintain a sense of humanity and decency in the face of primal instincts and the fragility of civilization. Ultimately, the conch quotes in Lord of the Flies serve as a powerful metaphor for the tension between order and chaos, and the struggle to maintain a sense of humanity in the face of darkness.

In conclusion, the conch shell in Lord of the Flies serves as a powerful symbol of order, authority, and the fragility of civilization. Through a close analysis of key quotes, we can see the changing role of the conch as the boys’ attitudes towards authority and leadership shift, and as the novel progresses, the conch begins to lose its power and influence, mirroring the breakdown of societal order and the descent into savagery. The significance of the conch quotes lies in their portrayal of the struggle to maintain a sense of humanity and decency in the face of primal instincts and the fragility of civilization. The conch quotes highlight the tension between order and chaos, and the struggle to maintain a sense of humanity in the face of darkness.

Ultimately, the conch shell serves as a metaphor for the inherent darkness within human nature and the constant struggle to maintain a sense of order and civilization. As the conch loses its power, it symbolizes the breakdown of societal order and the loss of innocence among the boys. However, the moment of realization and shame when the naval officer arrives to rescue the boys symbolizes their return to civilization and the restoration of order, highlighting the fragile nature of society and the human struggle to maintain a sense of humanity.

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In conclusion, the conch quotes in Lord of the Flies provide a deeper understanding of the themes of power, authority, and the loss of innocence that are central to the story. They serve as a poignant reminder of the fragility of civilization and the struggle to maintain order in the face of primal instincts, and ultimately highlight the tension between order and chaos, and the struggle to maintain a sense of humanity in the face of darkness.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Lord Of The Flies Conch Quotes. (2024, March 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/lord-of-the-flies-conch-quotes/
“Lord Of The Flies Conch Quotes.” GradesFixer, 05 Mar. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/lord-of-the-flies-conch-quotes/
Lord Of The Flies Conch Quotes. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/lord-of-the-flies-conch-quotes/> [Accessed 18 Jul. 2024].
Lord Of The Flies Conch Quotes [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 05 [cited 2024 Jul 18]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/lord-of-the-flies-conch-quotes/
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