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English AQA Prose Study

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English AQA Prose Study How does Golding suggest to the reader the nature of the beast? In this novel, Golding attempts to convey that every member of the human race has a dark side deep within them. The theme of Lord of the Flies can be contrasted and interpreted as an indirect response to R.M. Ballantyne's The Coral Island, where he conveys that all evil is outside of oneself, rather than within. The boys in Lord of the Flies fear an inexistent beast, a creation in their minds. Golding uses this to show that the boys think and believe that evil is around them, but are not mature enough to understand that it is coming from within them, an aspect of their nature that their detachment to civilization has brought to the surface. The boys blame all their "savage" actions on a beast that lives and lurks around on the island, although this beast is one that only lives within each one of them, brought out more conspicuously in some characters than in others. The description of the Beast as the "snake thing" by a littlun shows what he thought he saw, which in reality only a creeper from one of the trees was. ...read more.


Jack's tribe lacks this compassion too, most apparently towards Piggy. This instinct soon overshadows their human instinct and soon drowns it. This is shown when Jack's tribe is so brutal that anyone not a part his tribe, he believes, deserves to be slaughtered. On page 177, Simon appears to be having a spiritual moment with the staked sow's head. In this scene Simon is shown to understand the nature of the beast: "There isn't anyone to help you. Only me. And I'm the Beast". This point is further emphasized when the lord of the flies says, "You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you? Close, close, close! I'm the reason why it's no go? Why things are what they are"? Simon sees the staked head as "dim with the infinite cynicism of adult life", and on page 178 the voice he imagines the Lord of the Flies to be speaking with, is that of a headmaster. A headmaster would be an ideal choice because they are likely to be rather experienced and their experience taught them well, albeit that it is to be cynical. ...read more.


Jack's tribe portrays the Beast's identity as the most primal form of evil, throughout the majority of this novel. The description of the scene of Simon's murder as having "no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws" by Golding contains infinite description of a pack of beasts. If a reader were to only read that sentence by itself, they would assume the creatures described were a pack of carnivorous wolves or hyenas or other such scavengers, but they would never think it were a group of kids. These children, however, do have the instinct of the aforementioned animals. The lack of tools suggests a very primitive use of physical features rather than more sophisticated tools or weaponry. The absence of words is another aspect of savagery is often associated with, and is an invention of humankind that puts us above savagery. In this example, the true nature of the beast is acted out by Jack's tribe when they use their "teeth and claws" to murder Simon as brutally as they possibly can. This is an instance of a moment when each member of the group was completely possessed by their beast instinct and had their humaneness entirely suppressed. ...read more.

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