Rules of Law in Lord of the Flies
In Golding’s unique, “Lord of the Flies,” a group of English school children are stranded on an island after their plane gets shot down. Two of the young boys, Ralph and Piggy happen to come upon a conch shell. Golding uses this shell to signify the rule of law, which in civilization, holds the evil nature of people in check. This rule of law separates civilization from savagery. Throughout the book, the deteriorating respect for the conch parallels the descent from civilization to savagery.
Throughout this book, the conch symbolizes the rule of law. After Ralph fishes the conch out of the ocean, he blows into it to summon all the young boys on the island. The boys elect Ralph as leader and he states that whoever holds the conch is the only person permitted to speak. The conch means law and order in a democracy, where everybody can be heard. The shell becomes a symbol of democratic order as Ralph and Piggy turn it into an anchor to civilization. Beyond assemblies, the other kids in some cases stop working to follow the rules. Nevertheless, once the conch is blown, they all come back together. The respect for the conch, the guideline of law, is strong initially.
As power shifts to Jack, respect for the guideline of law damages and civilization starts to collapse. This starts when Jack states that the conch has no power on the mountain. Thereafter, the kids follow the guidelines less and less. For example, everyone assisted to build the very first shelter, but only four helped to construct the 2nd and just 2 helped to build the 3rd. Ultimately, Jack makes a competing group where they have no conch, and when Ralph attempts to factor with him, Jack mentions that the conch has no power any longer. When Jack says this, it reveals that their ties with civilization have actually been broken and Jack has come down into savagery. At the end of the novel, the democratic power system is symbolically terminated by the destruction of the conch: “The conch exploded into a thousand white pieces and disappeared” (Golding 181). The shattered conch represents the end of reason and civilization. In this case, the conch is the last thing that is holding the democracy together; with the conch shattered, all that Ralph and Piggy have actually defended is ruined and gone forever on the island. With the conch gone, the boys succumb to savagery and dictatorial rule by worry starts. They eliminate a mom sow nursing piglets and begin to shout stick it “Right up her ass”. Later they eliminate Piggy and Simon, 2 of the boys still holding on to civilization. Lastly Jack orders the boys to hunt Ralph, cut his avoid and put it on a stick as an offering to the “monster”.
The savagery resulted from the disintegration of the guideline of law. The conch was a symbolization of this and it assisted the kids come together and end up being connected to civilization. Nevertheless, the power of the conch begins to weaken and when it does, it begins their descent from civilization to savagery.