{Describe at least one important technique used in the written text. Explain how the technique created an emotional response in you. Note: Techniques could include figures of speech, syntax, word-choice, style, symbolism, structure, or narrative point-of-view}

An important technique that is used by William Golding in the text “The Lord of the Flies” is symbolism, almost every object or setting that is presented during the story has two separate meanings, what the object is physically, and what it represents in connection to the story itself and the characters that interact with it. There are many prominent symbols in this text, some of the most important include: The conch, signal fire, piggy’s glasses, the beast, the lord of the flies and the characters themselves. All of these objects/aspects of the text come together and this helps to portray a far more immersive story than it would be if they were not included.
The conch, for example symbolises order and civilisation on the island, it unifies the boys as a group. More than any other character, Ralph seems to be the most connected to it his clear emotional ties to it show that Ralph is far more concerned with running the island as if they were back at home in England, civilised. This connection that Ralph has can be clearly seen after the brutal murder of Simon in chapter 9, when Piggy and Ralph are discussing what had happened. Ralph seems to be fully remorseful, wracked with guilt and confusion, while Piggy attempts to persuade him that what happened was an accident, and not their fault. “Ralph, cradling the conch, rocked himself to and fro” this scene shows that Ralph is attempting to shelter the remaining order/civilisation that has been broken down, desperately clinging to his innocence and ties to civilisation. When Roger pushes the boulder off the ledge that kills Piggy, the conch is also destroyed. Signifying that all order has been lost and the boys have descended into barbarism. It shows how the boys have lost all sense of morality and everything concerned with a normal functioning society. The conch was often described as being delicate, this is Golding showing us how quickly law and order deteriorated within the boys, also how it was always on the brink of being obliterated and broken down, when it finally was, it happened in an instant “ceased to exist”, order on the island now also ceases to exist. It is clear how certain characters during the story had a much stronger connection to the conch, such as Ralph and Piggy. Both of these characters represented aspects such as order and rationality in the story. Other main characters such as Jack and Roger, almost seemed to resent the conch, this could be because it prevented them from dictating the group, or taking/exerting full control over other boys. As Jack began to gain more power, he lost interest in the conch and what it represented within the group. Then, when it was finally destroyed, Jack was able to fully exert his own power. The conch acted as a barrier between the boys and the anarchy of barbarism. Not only this, but it allowed Ralph to become the first leader, “Shut up, said Ralph absently. He lifted the conch. Seems to me we ought to have a chief to decide things” this shows how Ralph used the conch to gain the attention and then his leadership. It protected him in this role, to the other boys it showed Ralph’s title and ‘dominance’ over the group. So when it was destroyed, Ralph’s title as leader was also destroyed.

Much like the conch, the signal fire represented civilisation, and the ties that the boys had to civilisation (the hope of rescue and return to society). The fire is extremely important to the boys in the beginning of the novel, as they slowly descend into savagery, it becomes less and less of a priority. With the majority of boys losing interest in keeping it burning, therefore being rescued and returning to order/civilisation. This scares Ralph, because he more than anyone wants to return and become civilised again, and as readers, we can feel this fear and desperation that Ralph has. “The fire is the most important thing on the island. How can we ever be rescued except by luck, if we don’t keep a fire going? Is a fire too much for us to make?” It was never that the fire was too difficult for the boys to make, in the beginning most agreed with Ralph that it needed to be kept burning. However, as the story continues, we see how Jack manages to turn the characters so that they begin to question if they truly want to be rescued, to remain societal and have order in the same way as the civilisation that they have left and seem to have forgotten. This is why the fire is eventually abandoned and the majority of the group (Jack’s tribe) refuse to keep it lit, using fire only to cook pigs and as a light source.
Piggy’s glasses, and the character that they belong to are extremely important in this text, they symbolise intellect, knowledge and creativity. Piggy is always backing Ralph up because he understands the necessity for order and law within the group, sadly this viewpoint made Piggy even more of a target for Jack and his followers, as they resented needing to follow the rules and society’s norms. The glasses allowed the group to light the signal fire in the beginning, and in the end they were taken by force from Piggy, as Jack needed them to keep his own fire burning. Piggy’s whole character relies on his classes, as they allow him to see, therefore function in the group. In many instances we see how Piggy has far superior intellect to the other boys, he is able to identify how the conch should be used to make the noise that brings all of the boys together, he knows that it is unlikely that they will be rescued quickly, and may have to prepare to spend a long time on the island. We are constantly being shown how Piggy attempts to exert his knowledge on the rest of the group, but he is ignored and considered weak/unimportant by the other boys. The only thing about him that the others seem to find useful to them are his lenses, when they are taken from him Piggy can no longer see. He is viewed by the others as a ‘drag’ and even weaker than previously thought, even though he still voices and pleads with the others to be rational and hope for return to society, not even Ralph can protect him from the wrath of the savages. As a reader, it is very easy to sympathise with this character, we can see that if he had been taken seriously and listened to as most others were, the text may have ended on a ‘better note’ than it did. Piggy situation is a classic and obvious portrayal of the ‘nerd’ or ‘weakling’ who is targeted by another larger character who is usually the ‘bully’ and only uses the smaller character as a pawn, that, once it has been used to capacity can easily be thrown away.


[The Beast]

[The Characters]

[The Lord of the Flies]




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