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What Is the Beast in Lord of the Flies?

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What Is the Beast in Lord of the Flies?

In Lord of the Flies, the boys on the island are terrified of the “beast,” and it quickly

becomes an obsession for them. Lord of the Flies is set during World War II on an island. Because of the war going on in their homeland, many school-age boys were put on a plane to be evacuated. The plane crashed, and they were trapped on an island with no adults. The boys try to get things done, but they quickly start having disagreements. There is a power struggle, and two boys end up dying, and one goes missing. Throughout the book, they are constantly worrying about the “beast” on the island. What did Golding mean exactly when he wrote,“the beast”? I believe the beast in Lord of the Flies symbolizes fear, conflict, and human nature.

In Lord of the Flies, the “beast” is a symbol for the boys’ fear. According to William Golding, the extreme feeling of terror is “ungraspable” on the island. The boys, especially the younger ones, start to imagine things on the island becoming life-like objects. They combine their imaginations and figures on the island into their own ideas of the “beast.” The boys even start to attempt to hunt this “beast” even though it is not something that can be killed with a spear. It is very possible that the boys are afraid of being without adults and their familiar surroundings. There are many things unknown on the island. Claire Rosenfield wrote, “Now there were no comforting mothers to dispel the terrors of the unknown. They externalize these fears into the figure of a ‘beast.’” Usually children can rely on adults to keep them safe, but on

Lee 2 the island the boys feel all alone. Without a parental figure, it is hard to keep a clear mind and focus on what is important. Franklin D. Roosevelt said that the “only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” In Lord of the Flies, the boys think the beast is something they can capture and kill, but it is really something they can never completely run away from, and it can always get the best of them.

Conflict also contributes to the boys’ idea of the “beast”. Golding once said,‘The war produced one notable effect on me. It scared me stiff. . . It was the turning point for me.” In Lord of the Flies, a man parachutes out of a plane during a battle and



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