Lord of the Flies Character Symbolism
Symbolism of the characters
Ralph represents civilization, leadership, and the middle of society. He still has sense and tries to follow societies rules, as everyone else becomes savage. He still sees the good and bad in things, and acts as any normal person would react. He has human instincts, so when the naval officer arrives, he may be crying, but he realizes that none of them were innocent. He knew the reality of their situation.
"And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy."
Piggy represents the intelligence in man and the rational side of civilization. He tries to do the right thing all the time while the boys do whatever they want. He argues that the boys can't do the simplest of things to stay alive, like making a signal fire. His intelligence and rationality doesn't do much when dealing with the immature boys. Throughout the book, Piggy shares more ideas and tries to spread his knowledge.
“Just an ordinary fire. You’d think we could do that, wouldn’t you? Just a smoke signal so we can be rescued. Are we savages or what?”
Jack represents anarchy. Obviously, he separates himself from Ralph in the beginning of the book. He likes to be the only leader, and expects everyone to act free in his tribe. He didn't want Ralph to be chief in the beginning because he felt that he wasn't fit for it. Since, they were all the same to Jack, he felt that he didn't need to be chief, that is until savagery took over him.
"And you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting there telling people what to do. You can't hunt, you can't sing—" "Why should choosing make any difference? Just giving orders that don't make any sense—"
Roger represents pure evil. The author first introduces Roger's dark side when he starts throwing rocks. The rocks foreshadowed the death of Piggy, caused by Roger's actions. It becomes obvious that Roger wants to take over Jack and the tribe with his actions and attitude towards the end of the book.
"Roger edged past the chief, only just avoiding pushing him with his shoulder. The yelling ceased, and Samneric lay looking up in quiet terror. Roger advanced upon them as one wielding a nameless authority."
"You'll get back to where you came from.” Simon pushed his way to Ralph's elbow." "I'll go if you like. I don't mind, honestly."
Simon represents Jesus Christ. His death was like Jesus's in the bible. He was sacrificed and mauled but did nothing wrong and still tried to help the other boys. He was the only one who wasn't afraid to go into the forest alone, so this shows he's a strong boy. He knows he will be safer, away from all the troubles of the boys.
The pigs head, Lord of the Flies, represents the devil. When Simon talks to the head, it seems to go against him and threaten him, alluding to the devil. The way the boys give this as a gift to the beast shows that this figure provokes them to do savage things. From the moment they created the Lord of the Flies, they've gone down hill.
"At last Simon gave up and looked back; saw the white teeth and dim eyes, the blood – and his gaze was held by that ancient, inescapable recognition."
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