Lord of the Flies Object Significance: the Conch
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As a child, my blankey was not only a tool for warmth, but a source of comfort. The torn, blue quilt meant much more than it appeared. The conch shell in Lord of the Flies also has more significance than one might think. Initially found among the weeds on an unknown island, the conch brought a group of helpless, English school boys together after a fatal plane crash. The radiant shell becomes a constant in the boys lives. In Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, the item of ultimate significance is the conch shell because it has a constant connection to the development and later destruction of civilization within the stranded boys.

The conch created an illusion among the boys of beauty and power. Within minutes of introducing the shell, Piggy and Ralph are entranced by its beauty. It is described as a precious item to be “seen but not to be touched”(10). Soon after, Piggy orchestrates the idea to blow in the conch in order to find other victims of the crash. Many young boys flock to the conch. Amid the boys first meeting, while electing a leader, the boys note, “The most obvious leader was Jack [but] there was a stillness about Ralph that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch” (18). The boys draw the inference that Ralph is smart, and powerful enough to lead their rowdy bunch because he is holding such a smart and powerful thing. Because of the shells compelling presence, Ralph is soon named Chief. The first impression the conch leaves with the boys affects many situations to come. The conchs ability to influence decisions affects the plot greatly.

The power of the conch plays a large role in the development of the boys mini-civilization. Following the election, Ralph begins to create rules for the sake of a more civilized community. One of the many regulations Ralph states, “We cant have everyone talking at once. Well have hands up like at school… then Ill give [the boy wanting to speak] the conch” (29). In this quote, Ralph is stating the “rule of the conch;” if a character has the urge to make a comment, they must have the conch in their custody. While holding the conch, the boys have the power to say what they want without repercussion. The “rule of the conch” establishes an element of respect during meetings. The boys are no longer talking over each other, which decreases tension. Soon after, Ralph establishes another conch-based rule, “where the conch is, thats where a meeting is” (40). As an effect, when the conch is blown, the boys gather. The most important element in building a civilized society on the island is the unity of the boys, which the conch provides. Meetings are mostly gathered to discuss issues on the island and come up with a solution. The conch is an important aspect in these meetings because it provides a figure of authority in the thick of immature behavior. The conch is

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Conch Shell And English School Boys. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/conch-shell-and-english-school-boys-essay/