Lord Of The Flies Symbolism

The novel Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding, is a very symbolic
peace of literature. Most of the symbols are very easy to identify and explain.

One exception is clothing. Clothing was over looked as a symbol until the
introduction of this symbolism project. It was overlooked because in our society
clothing is a natural part of our every day lives, so even when we are reading,
we tend to dismiss it as symbolizing only fashion or lack of. In Lord of the

Flies clothing symbolizes order, rules and democracy. As the boy’s clothing
turns to rags, their order turns to chaos, their rules are discarded and their
system of democracy is overthrown and replaced with a fascist leader. When the
boys first arrive on the island they realize that there are no adults to tell
them what to do or how to behave. Basically they see no rule enforcers as no
rules. Most of the boys remove some or all of their clothing to go swimming or
because of the heat. This shows right from the beginning that when clothes are
removed so are the rules. Ralph calls an assembly by blowing the conch and the
boys come dressed "in school uniforms; grey, blue, fawn, jacketed or jerseyed.

There [are] badges, mottoes even, stripes of colour in stockings and
pullovers." (19). The last to arrive at the assembly was Jack and his choir.

Each boy in the choir is wearing a square black cap with a silver badge in it.

Their bodies, from throat to ankle, [are] hidden by black cloaks which [bare] a
long silver cross on the left breast and each neck [is] finished with a hambone
frill. ... [Jack,] the boy who [controls] them [is] dressed the same way through
his cap badge [is] golden. (21). Since the boys are dressed in their school
uniforms they are orderly. They showed this by listening and sitting quietly. At
this assembly Ralph’s system of democracy is established simply by voting him
to be chief. Ralph sets up rules and duties. Jack and his choir are to be
hunters and all the biguns* are to share the obligation of fire watch, (the boys
on fire watch sit up with the rescue fire to make sure it stays lit and omitting
smoke). The remainder of the boys are to help Ralph build shelters and to keep
coconuts, filled with fresh water, near camp. As the boys clothing starts to
wear away to rages, their rules start to fade. No one except Simon helps to
build the shelters, water is not being brought in coconut shells, and Jack takes
the boys from the fire watch to help with his hunt. Due to Jack’s actions the
fire goes out and a ship passes them by. This shows Jack has a disregard for
rules and rescue. The boy’s clothing not only wears away, but they also become
extremely filthy. They [are] dirty, not with the spectacular dirt of boys who
have fallen into mud or been brought down hard on a rainy day. Not one of them
was an obvious subject for a shower, and yet – hair, much too long, tangled
here and there, knotted round a dead leaf or a twig; faces cleaned fairly well
by the process of eating and sweating but marked in the less accessible angles
with a kind of shadow; clothes, worn away, stiff like his own with sweat, put
on, not for decorum or comfort but out of custom;(121). The boys don’t see
themselves as dirty, they grow accustomed to the way they look and smell; which
shows their decent into savagery, because civilized people are clean or at least
aware of how dirty they are. Jack is the first boy to become savage. His
savageness grows to make him the most savage of the group. When he is at his
most savage moments, he is described with very few clothing on. When he is
hunting "except for a pair of tattered shorts held up by his knife-belt he
[is] naked." (52). When his tribe is raiding Ralph’s, he is "stark naked
save for paint and a belt" (155), and when he is beating Wilfred for no
apparent reason, he is "naked to the waist." (176). Jack is the one who
replaces Ralph’s democratic system with his own fascist one. In Jack’s
tribe, killing is condoned and the boys wear barely any clothes. One night
during a ritual pig killing dance, Simon stumbles into the circle from out of