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The Beast in Lord of the Flies

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Introduction

The Beast in the Lord of the Flies Patrick Thompson Throughout the book the boys are constantly living in fear of some sort of wild beast which they believe inhabits the jungle. This beast is present among the boys from the very first day when a littlun informs them of a "snake-thing" that lives in the jungle the older boys dismiss this as a nightmare but the littluns are not convinced. Ralph tries to convince the boys that no such beast exists after a young boy has said that the beast comes from the sea and even Simon says their may be a beast undermining Ralph in front of the others which leads to even more fear of the so called beast. ...read more.

Middle

face right in front of Ralph at which point the boys sprint down the mountain to tell the others, at the meeting Jack leaves to form his own hunting tribe, calling Ralph a "coward" because he was afraid of the beast. When the others join Jack's tribe they offer the beast a Sow's bloody head on a stick, they have begun to worship the beast metaphorically Jack is worshiping the beast inside of the hunters which causes them to be evil and brutal, Jack is no longer fighting this he is embracing it. When Simon finds the Sow's head he thinks it is telling him that the beast cannot be hunted or killed it is inside of them. ...read more.

Conclusion

This beast does not emerge till later on in the book but we see early signs of it such as the thirst for blood experienced by nearly all the boys at some point except for Simon and Piggy who appear to be the only inherently good ones our of all the boys, possibly this is why they were murdered. Roger especially has evil inside of him starting of with simply teasing young boys to to brutally murdering animals and torturing children and finally culminating in the murder of Piggy. Secondly I think the beast also represents fear. The beast is said to come from two places the sea and the jungle these areas are both mysterious and unknown. Whenever the boys are frightened by something they conclude that it must be the beast rather than facing the more real and tangible danger that the island holds. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This essay doesn't very clearly answer the question for the majority of it, but manages to make a fair analysis of the symbolism of the Beast by the end. The novel is deliberately allegorical (e.g. very symbolic) and so the ...

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Response to the question

This essay doesn't very clearly answer the question for the majority of it, but manages to make a fair analysis of the symbolism of the Beast by the end. The novel is deliberately allegorical (e.g. very symbolic) and so the symbolism of the Beast and what it represents to each of the boys and to the readers must be analysed in a far greater detail that what is evident here. The first two thirds of the answer is very plainly re-writing what happen in relation to the Beast and the boys' time on the island. This elicits no marks at all and only very few are offered for the candidate's basic insight during this section - candidate must never re-write the text, especially not at length as it just wastes time and loses valuable marks.

I would also ask the candidate to work on their essay structure. An introduction may seem like a waste of time when you've only got one hour/forty-five minutes to write an answer of sufficient length and depth that it satisfies the mark scheme, but an introductory and conclusive paragraphs are the easiest ways to let an examiner know that you know how to structure a cohesive essay. Without these bookends, if you will, the answer is left exposed and feels incomplete.

Level of analysis

The analysis here isn't very deep, and in fact is relegated to a comparatively brief paragraph towards the end. Here, though, the candidate minces no words and makes a sound, if not very deep, analysis of the two main symbols the Beast represents - the fear of the unknown and the innate savagery that exists in all of us, and how all that is needed for us to decline into this savagery is for a loss of civilisation and democracy. A higher achieving candidate might take some time to add some contextual factors here - what is Golding saying about the importance of democracy? What was happening in Britain at the time of writing (the birth of psychology as a science, education system revival, political unrest, etc.)? How does this relates to the novel? This is the level of detail required of the analysis at A Level to achieve much higher than what the candidate achieves here, which is borderline C/D.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication (QWC) here is very poor, and unacceptable for an A Level candidate. Basic grammar and punctuation have gone out of the window in this answer - too many time to quote here, but often there is a misuse/lack of commas where they should/n't be, and there are also basic issues with capital letters being used where they shouldn't be - "When Simon finds the Sow's head". There is also problems with quotations not being cited correctly - "don't you want to be rescued". Golding did not write the sentence like this and candidates must ensure that when they quote they are quoting accurately; this quote should read "Don't you want to be rescued?". QWC is highly important, especially in English essays as the need for good English is contributory to a high grade ; without high QWC, the candidate cannot achieve the highest band of marks.


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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 05/07/2012

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