The Symbol Of The Conch

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The Symbol of the Conch The conch in the novel is perhaps the strongest symbol. It represents power, government, leadership, and a link to the boy’s lives prior to the crash. Symbolism is representing something by material objects, often regarding an immaterial thing. The conch is introduced as a symbol in Chapter One through the description of its physical appearance, the sound it produces, and the person in possession of it. The way the appearance of the conch is described shows its significant power. The first reference to the conch’s look is, “In color the shell was deep cream, touched here and there with fading pink. Between the point, worn away into a little hole and the pink lips of the mouth, lay eighteen inches of shell with a slight spiral twist and covered with a delicate, embossed pattern.” The way the author describes the color of the shell makes it seem delicate and precious, the use of the word “touched” help to give us that picture. The personification of the conch having lips makes it seem more important because human’s lips are very special, and giving this characteristic to a shell makes it seem especially significant. Eighteen inches is a big length, about half a meter, and the shell’s size makes it seem more paramount. Something that is embossed is of high importance, like the conch, embossment shows credibility. The adjective “glistening” is used to describe the conch, glistening is defined as having a sparkle or gleam. Something that is sparkling is beautiful. The conch is also compared to a tusk; a tusk is large, and strong. It also belongs to a huge, prominent animal. The reader gets a mental image of what the conch looks like; the image is of an amazing, large shell. The other way we see the power of the conch is through the sound it generates. The quotation describing the sound the conch made after many fails at making it work is,

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