Lord of the Flies: Symbolism

By: Abby Pace, Sofia Vega, Alisha Sayani


Symbolism in literature is the use of reoccurring objects to further explain an idea the author wants the reader to understand in a deeper matter. The Lord of the Flies is a sow's head, that Jack stabs with a spear, the conch is a shell they found and whoever was holding it was the one who spoke and was the device used to gather everyone, and since the boys were stranded on an island with no civilization there was no way to cut their hair. Symbolism In the novel The Lord of the Flies written by William Golding reoccurring symbols such as The Lord of the Flies, conch shell, and the growth of their hair represent evil, power, or turning savage.

Quote and Analysis #1

Quote: I'm warning you. I'm going to get angry. D'you see? You're not
wanted. Understand? We are going to have fun on this island! So don't
try it on, my poor misguided boy, or else-- (143)

Analysis: The Lord of the Flies is a sow's head, that Jack stabs with a spear.
This symbolizes The devil. "Lord of the Flies" is a translation of the
biblical name Beelzebub, who is a demon, possibly the most powerful
demon in hell, often seen as satan himself. Simon is seen talking to
the sow's head and the head seems to be talk back. The sow head says
that evil lies in everyone's heart, and he promises to have some fun
with Simon, he is talking to the head. Simon dies in the next chapter. This quote shows that Simon is losing his mind. Simon represents everything good. The Lord of the
Flies (the sow's head) represents everything evil. The two cannot both
be alive.

Quote and Analysis #2

“Ralph stood, one hand holding back his hair, the other clenched” (Golding 66).

The more Ralfs hair started to grow the more savage he becomes but he was trying to stay civilized and that is represented by him holding his hair back.

“He [Piggy] was the only boy on the island whose hair never seemed to grow” (Golding 64).

Piggy was the only one who never lost sight of civilization he always tried to sick by the rules and never allowed himself to become savage therefore as everyone else's hair grew they became savage and his hair stayed short and he stayed civilized.

Quote and Analysis #3

"The being that had blown that, had sat waiting for them on the platform with the delicate thing balanced on his knees, was set apart"

The conch shows power in the sense that it represents the rules that were set. The rule was that no one could speak until they have the conch. The conch represents the law and order of the island. In the quote, you can see the power of the conch because whoever had it was considered superior. Ralph got elected as the leader most importantly because he had the conch with him.


In conclusion, these symbols represent a way of life that these boys
found. It wasn't the best way, but it was their way. Their way of life
can also be compared to our world. There is good and there is evil,
and evil can take over our minds and destroy us. We all have a tame
side and a wild side, we can fall into what feels best. We all want to
be leaders and to do things our way, but we should share power and be


1.) In the book, there is a source of evil, and Simon is able to see it easily. In what ways do you think that affected his death?

2.) How does Jack becoming savage and Piggy staying civilized contribute to the outcome of the book?

3.)In the book, the conch gets Ralph elected as group leader because of its power. How is the power and authority shown in the book represented in real life?