• 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

    Compare and contrast Defoe's Robinson Crusoe with Golding's Lord of the Flies.

    4 star(s)

    Lord of the Flies, however, is pessimistic: all semblance of civilised society is stripped away. The two world wars undermined to ability of human beings to interact and use reason. Advances in society and technology had destroyed faith in rationalism and a belief grew that if left to our own devices, humans would in essence revert to animals.

  2. Marked by a teacher

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

    3 star(s)

    The jungle is often described as the 'heart of darkness'. I believe that this is because there is always something of an evil nature that happens in the jungle or is to have said to have happened in the jungle, as it is the jungle where by the 'snake-thing' is supposed have been seen.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How has the relationship between Ralph and Jack changed?

    3 star(s)

    The difference between the work that they do is that Jack wants to hunt, for himself not just the group and enjoys it, but Ralph is stuck building some "ruins" for shelters with only Simon for company. The two characters' priorities are clearly different from one another.

  2. 'Lord of the Flies': Simon Essay.

    When Simon leaves the island there is no one left to challenge evil. By this time Roger is symbolizing the increasing evil on the island. Jack and his tribe decide that they have killed the beast with Simons death, although Jack still seems to want is, as if he is dependant on the beast.

  1. Lord of the Flies Essay: Importance of Ralph

    When he says to Jack, "They talk and scream. The littluns. Even some of the others." he is referring to why the boys need shelters. They are afraid. Ralph understands that by building the shelters, the boys will feel more secure. This illustrates his superior knowledge of people, which makes him a better leader than Jack.

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

    Just shortly after this he gets in to a disagreement with Piggy 'jack smacked Piggy's head.

  1. In what ways does Golding present the boys decline into savagery?

    on the importance of living in a civilised way while looking for rescue. I think this is because boys generally enjoy adventure more than the subject of rescue that an adult would normally deal with. In chapter 7 Golding changes the language used considerably.

  2. The Conch - "Lord of the Flies"In William Golding's novel "Lord of the Flies" ...

    He often uses metaphor in this book. In fact, all symbolism is a type of metaphor since they compare two unlike things. Other metaphors in the book were when Golding described the choir boy at the beginning of the book as a dark creature crawling along the sand.

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