Thursday, June 16, 2011

shattering of the conch

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English 1-H

B. The Shattering of the Conch

To see what the shattering of the conch symbolizes, one must what the conch symbolized from the beginning of the novel. The conch shell symbolizes the law and order of the old adult world which Piggy tries so desperately to protect. The conch symbolizes the boys old proper English-selves, when they obeyed authority. When the rock destroys the conch, anarchy quickly ensues because any hope of strong, central leadership has been abandoned. The island society collapses into chaos.

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The quotes here are from the beginning of the novel to the end, showing the progress of the deteriorating conch.

1. “Ralph smiled and held up the conch for silence”(). At the beginning of the novel, the boys acted like their proper English-selves. Everything was in order, and many of the boys were calm here.

. “I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking”(). The conch is still making things organized for the boys. The conch here symbolizes the organization, which is a basic principle for the boys growing up as proper.

. Jack says “The conch doesn’t count on top of the mountain,…so you shut up”(4). As the novel progresses, the conch starts to slowly deteriorate. The boys start to get annoyed of each other, and they bend the rules of the conch, making it less powerful.

4. “Hands were reaching for the conch in the light of the setting sun”(81). Many “hands” reaching for the conch shows that organization of the group is falling apart. Also this occurred at the setting sun which means, darkness is starting to over power the conch.

5. After Ralph says he has the conch, Piggy says and realizes that “there ain’t no need,…What’s the others going to think?”(156) The conch has deteriorated in its power to organize. Now, one can see that as the conch started to weaken in power, many of the boys started to become savages.

6. “The rock struck Piggy at a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand fragments and ceased to exist”(181). The shattering of the conch symbolizes the final act that makes the savages completely lose their old proper English-selves. Since now the main organizer is broken, the island society collapses into chaos.

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