Behold, the Conch.

What happens when morals are completely thrown out of the window? For many, this leads to quick and rash decisions. These decisions could impact an individual or a group as a whole. “Whoever holds the conch holds the right to speak.” The conch shell is used as a political symbol. It is the boy's way of holding on to the structure that was instilled in them as children. When faced with fear and irrational behaviors, people rely on symbols as a way to hold on to their moral structures.           
The book “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding is about a group of boys who survived a plane crash and landed on an island. The book starts with Ralph and Piggy discovering the island. They are ripped from their lives, and immediately try to rebuild their civilization on the island.  While doing this they find the conch.  When they see the shell, it already to them was a grand object. “The shell was interesting and pretty and a worthy plaything…”(16)  The shell was their way of rebuilding their structure and politics. When Ralph blew the conch, the sound soared across the island and brought all of the boys together.  “ Where’s the man with the trumpet?”(20). When immediately faced with the question of being rescued, the boys choose their leader. Who happens to be the boy holding the conch, Ralph.  He is now figuratively soaking in the power of the conch. The boys blindly follow the conch to mask the fear that they each collectively have. The fear of not being rescued, fear of the unknown. The conch is more than a shell to Ralph and the boys. It brought them together, they now know they are not alone. Now that they have each other the common thought process and morals. Which is to survive together and rebuild their own civilization. Given, all of them are children so there is no way they aren’t scared, or doubtful. Having the conch gives them faith. 
“Make America Great Again.” was shown all over the country during the presidential election. A symbol of hope and politics to Trump supporters. Flashed on hats and signs across America, by the president’s supporters. To them this slogan is not just what they think politics should be, it is way more than just words to them- even the president himself.  “It actually inspired me,” Trump said, “because, to me, it meant jobs. It meant industry, and meant military strength. It meant taking care of our veterans. It meant so much.”  These are trump’s morals, so these are also his supporters morals. It in a way is a movement. When they are confronted with “hate” from the opposing side these four words become a symbol.  A symbol of hope, and power that is soon to unfold in Washington. The hat has become a major part of his supporters lives. It was their support, for the man and ideals they believed in. Through the eyes of a trump supporter, the movement is morally right.  At the University of Maryland, when students wear their hat they feel strong and bold.  One student described it as making them feel proud. It makes them feel like America is the greatest country on the planet. When faced with discrimination they wear the hats, for a common purpose that they all believe in- a greater America. When asked about the discrimination, the same student responded, “I was expecting more of a resistance from people, and the most that have ever happened here is people saying some nasty stuff to us.”  Reading this, it seems like he is scared, but because he knows there are people out there with common ethics he is calm. Just like the conch shell, the hats and the Make America Great Again movement is a symbol that gets people through fear and chaos. 
Morality is an important key in life. Without it “right and wrong,” wouldn’t exist. When people are put in situations that will challenge the ideals that they have been taught all of their lives, they hold onto things that give them a sense of their morals. Or just to help them get through rough times. Similar to trump supporters and the boys. These tokens, being the conch and the hats made in honor of a movement.  There are examples of other things as well like the American flag which holds the belief of patriotism.  In America, during times of turmoil, the first thing that is shown is the flag.  The flag provides people with happiness and that whatever happens will not prevail. This is similar to the boys in the book and Donald Trump supporters. 

Works Cited:

Jeffries, Tara. "Some Trump supporters are afraid to speak out." PBS. Public Broadcasting Service, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.

Goulding, william. Lord of the flies. New York:Penguin,2006

Merriam-ebster.moral definition.Merriam-Webster, INC, 2017

Comments (1)