Manly Hall once said, “Symbolism is the language
Manly Hall once said, “Symbolism is the language of the mysteries. By symbols men have sought to communicate to each other those thoughts which transcend the limitations of language.” In the movie, Lord of the Flies, a plane carrying a group of boys heading home crashes down over the ocean. The pilot of the plane is unconscious, but the boys survive the crash and find themselves deserted on an uninhabited island. The children were then alone without any adult supervision where the good turns evil, and there were no consequences for their savage actions. Two boys try to govern the children maturely to keep everyone sane, but the others turn to their evil ways. Lord of the Flies encompasses various symbols to compare the events of this movie to real life conflicts such as the the conch for law and order, Piggy’s glasses for basic survival needs, and the signal fire for relation to civilization. The conch shell was used to form law and order by attempting to keep the boys in a civil routine. Ralph and Piggy discover the conch shell on the beach and use it to gather everyone together for assemblies. The shell effectively governs the boys by authorizing them to impose a “rule of the conch” upon themselves. The rule established; whoever holds the shell, holds the right to speak. The shell was a method similar to a democracy and the boys used it to develop a logical civilization with everyone’s recommendations accepted. Soon, their faultless civilization deteriorates by their natural instincts and most of the boys resort to becoming barbaric. The conch shell loses its significance and effect among nearly all of the boys, and when the boulder was rolled onto Piggy and kills him, the conch was dropped and never used again. This signifies the termination of the civilized instinct amidst the boys on the island. The conch decided who had the power to speak and Piggy’s glasses decided had the power of survival. Piggy’s glasses possessed the capability of survival for the boys on the island. The boys knew they needed a fire for heat, fully-cooked food, and clean water. They manipulated the lenses on Piggy’s glasses to bend and focus the sunlight to engage a fire. Without the glasses the boys would die because they would starve themselves or they would eat raw meat and get food poisoning. Piggy’s glasses were vital to their survival so when Jack made his own camp they did not have a way to start a fire so they stole Piggy’s glasses. They took the ability to make the fire and it made Ralph’s group debilitated and left them to die. The glasses helped the boys survive but they helped Piggy survive the most. Whenever Piggy’s glasses were broken he could only see out of one eye and he was halfway blind so it’s hard for him to sustain the harsh conditions. When Jack’s camp took Piggy’s glasses from him he was completely blind and could not fend for himself. Piggy’s glasses granted the boys survival but the signal fire gave the boys hope for that survival.The signal fire gives the boys a connection to real world civilizations. The fire burned on the mountain and later on the beach to attempt to catch the attention of passing ships and helicopters so the boys could be rescued. At the beginning of the movie, the boys maintain the fire as a sign that they want to be rescued and return to their normal society. They boys even make watching the fire a tremendous priority. When the boys start to follow Jack they become careless and the fire goes out. They then lose their desire to be rescued and accept their vicious and savage lives on the island. The longer the boys stay away from a humane civilization the less they act like the normal, loving boys they should be. The signal fire functions as a measurement of the strength of the civilized instinct remaining inside the boys. Lord of the Flies incorporates numerous symbols to compare the experiences of this movie to real life controversy such as the the conch for control, Piggy’s glasses for survival, and the signal fire for association to humane cultures. The symbols in Lord of the Flies demonstrates how violent people can be to obtain supremacy. It creates a moral in your mind to stay humane and value the good of your instinct of you and the people around you. William Golding the author of the Lord of the Flies once said, “Maybe there is a beast… maybe the beast is us”.