Symbols

William Golding uses several important symbols in Lord of the Flies. The whole story can be read as an allegory, meaning that the characters and events represent issues in the real world. Overall, the boys’ attempt to create a society can be seen as a microcosm of real-life society as a whole. 

For example, Ralph can be seen as a symbol of democracy, order, and leadership. He is elected by the other boys and he tries to act fairly, attempting to maintain a form of civilization on the island. Ralph repeatedly emphasizes the importance of the signal fire, as it is the only thing that might allow them to be rescued. As Jack and the other boys allow it to go out and lose sight of their wish to be rescued, it becomes a symbol of their failing soci...

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