Essay On The Beast In Lord Of The Flies

862 Words4 Pages
Sometimes, when we are afraid, we make up something tangible to characterize our fears. We tend to believe that it exists, when in reality it is just a manifestation of or a way to cope with our terror. Similarly, in Lord of the Flies, the beast begins as a figment of the boys’ imaginations as a representation of their collective fears. Their notion of the beast is one that evolves over the course of the novel, eventually manifesting itself as the Lord of the Flies and illustrating mankind's’ intrinsic capacity for evil. The boys' changing belief in the beast indicates their steady loss of innocence, a journey that reveals the corrupt impulses hidden deep within all human beings.
The idea of the beast emerges early in the novel as a symbol
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Each of the boys had his own image of what the beast looked like—a representation of his personal fears. These individual interpretations are brought to life when the corpse is spotted on the mountain, turning what was once an abstract idea into a fleshed-out figure. When the twins Sam and Eric stumble across the body, they are quick to describe that “it was furry, [that] there was something moving behind its head—wings” (100); they even go to the extent of calling it a beast. As they hear this fearsome tale, “[the boys] lay there listening, at first with doubt but then with terror to the description the twins breathed at them” (99). The dead paratrooper has allowed the boys to think that evil arises from external forces rather than themselves in total contradiction to Piggy’s theory. It solidifies the boys’ irrational fears and reinforces their belief in the beast—they’re afraid. This contributes to the barbarity they display later on in the novel through the use of savage tactics in order to combat their intensified fears. It simultaneously is a true indication of the boys’ evil nature, revealing the worst of their
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