• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does William Golding use 'The Beast' in his novel as a whole?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does William Golding use 'The Beast' in his novel as a whole? 'The Beast' first comes to life at the start of chapter two. 'The Beast' is brought on to the scene by a small, timid boy with a birthmark on his face. The birthmark makes the boy stand out and makes him unique as if he is a chosen one. The small boy was made to introduce the idea of a "snake thing" by his peers. 'He was a shrimp of a boy, about six years old, and one side of his face was blotted out by a mulberry coloured birthmark...' The older boys mock him, as he asks for the conch the assembly "shouted with laughter" as a result of this the boy is too afraid to speak to the other boys. It would seem that he has already confided in Piggy, so Piggy tells Ralph and the older boys that the 'little uns' have been unsettled by some kind of 'beast', the older boys don't take the matter seriously and simply brush it off. The beast is used as a symbol in the novel, in the imaginations of many of the boys, the beast is a tangible source of evil on the island. ...read more.

Middle

When they return from a successful hunt in the jungle chanting "Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood," Ralph and Piggy attempt to explain to the hunters that having meat for their meals is not as important as keeping the signal fire burning (p. 69). In an ensuing scuffle, Jack knocks Piggy specs from his face, smashing one of the lenses against the mountain rocks and greatly impairing his vision. Finally, after Jack forms his own tribe of savages, he and two of his followers ambush Ralph, Piggy, and Samneric, and in the midst of "a vicious snarling in the mouth of the shelter and the plunge and thump of living things," Piggy's specs are stolen, leaving him virtually blind (p. 186). The story's setting presents two more symbols that assist in showing the decline of civility on the island. A majority of the island is taken up by the jungle, which is used by many authors as an archetype to represent death and decay. In fact, since the jungle is the lair of the beast, it, too, symbolizes the darkness naturally present within humans that is capable of ruling their lives. This evil eventually spreads to almost every boy on the island, just as in the jungle, "darkness poured out, submerging the ways between the trees till they were dim and strange as the bottom of the sea" (p. ...read more.

Conclusion

As an archetype in literature, a rock can symbolize strength and power, and since this rock is red, it also represents violence. It is Roger who feels strong and powerful as he stands on the ledge above Piggy. "High overhead, Roger, with a sense of delirium abandonment, leaned all his weight on the lever" (p. 180). When the rock lands below, it not only strikes Piggy, but it also shatters the conch shell. Up to that point, Piggy and the conch had been two of the few representations of civilization and common sense on the island. However, when the rock causes both of these to cease to exist, all order on the island is brought to an end, and the boys, who express no regrets over the death of Piggy, have fully become savages. In conclusion, Lord of the Flies is a story that portrays the dark, deteriorating life that results from mankind's inherent capacity for evil, which is allowed to control humans when they are freed from the rules of society. Throughout the novel, Golding uses many different objects as symbols to illustrate this theme. Some of those objects would be insignificant in real life and would most likely be taken for granted. However, in Lord of the Flies, each of the previously mentioned symbols is vital to the story's theme. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE William Golding section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay begins well and throughout the response there is some very good analysis taking place; however the second half of the essay does not relate to the question so in order for this to gain a higher mark the question would need to be changed or the response made more focused.

3 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 19/06/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE William Golding essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How does William Golding show evil at work in Lord of the Flies?

    3 star(s)

    This mask is a symbol of how the boys are regressing back to that savage form. Another way in which it shows how the choir have changed while they have been on the island, obviously, being a choir they were good at singing and did it a lot.

  2. Compare and Contrast the presentation of the deaths of Simon and Piggy

    Piggy's death was described in the way he would talk and it was described in a simple way with all the gore described. The contrast is giving across the point that Simon was a deep thinker; even more so than Piggy.

  1. Lord of the Flies Character Monolgues

    This works against them when they are ordered to kill, etc The legal angle, Cannot be held wholly responsible due to age, did they understand right from wrong?, premeditated? 1) well, ofc they cannot be held wholly responsible, they were only 12 years old 2)

  2. Significance of the beast in 'The Lord of the Flies'.

    The first signs of evil emerging from was when Jack and his hunters killed a pig and re-enacted the killing. They began to chant which became like a ritual and rather symbolic. Jack had completed his target of killing a pig he now had a taste of the glory and satisfaction it made him feel.

  1. To what extent is Lord of the flies a pessimistic book?

    He says, ' " it broke away-before I could kill it-but -next time!" Jack slammed his knife into a trunk and looked around challengingly.' Jack implies that next time he sees a pig he will kill it. Jacks sentences are slightly broken and full of exclamations.

  2. What Does It Mean to be Civilized

    How the Lord of the Flies Civilization Fell Apart The society that the boys on the island attempted to create turned out to be very uncivilized. There were a number of problems with the society that led to the collapse.

  1. Ralph, Jack and Piggy all possess unique qualities. Are any of them ideal leaders? ...

    He is also a very good judge of character, though he seems blind when it comes to seeing that the others, Ralph included, do not like him ("He hates me [Jack]. I dunno why. If he could do what he wanted - you're all right, he respects you...I tell you what.

  2. Explore the ways Golding uses and presents setting in Lord of the Flies.

    At the beginning of the chapter there is a sense of a build up to something terrible by Golding?s description ?the air was ready to explode? and the clouds ?brooded?. The personification of brooding clouds suggests that nature itself is aware of Simon?s death and it is building suspense up to that moment.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work