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The symbolism of the beast in Lord of The Flies

  • Essay length: 526 words
  • Submitted: 22/09/2008
  • Reviewed by: (?) sydneyhopcroft
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GCSE William Golding

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The first 200 words of this essay...

The symbolism of the Beast & its significance to characters in LOTF

In LOTF the beast is a symbol of fear, and is represented by Golding in many different ways. It is not only a physical thing, but also a presence within all of the boys, which creates an atmosphere of darkness, and horror. It is one of the signs that Golding uses to show that the island isn't as beautiful as it may seem, and that it has a dark side too. The beast is introduced when the littluns says that he has seen a "snake thing", describing it as "big and horrid." At first the beast is just a vague idea, and Simon says that the littluns scream in their sleep "as if it wasn't a good island." Highlights the dark side of the island. The main characters see the beast differently. As leader, Ralph tries to comfort the boys, by describing the idea of the beast as 'nonsense', which is helping the littluns come to terms with the idea. Jack almost undermines Ralph by saying that even if there was a beast "we'd kill it". This shows his hunter- gatherer quality.

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Review of essay

Reviewed by: sydneyhopcroft

Rating: 5 star(s)

Response to the question

This essay question asks candidates to discuss how William Golding presents "The Beast" in his novel 'Lord of the Flies'. The candidates must recognise how Golding presents the beast and it's effect on both the reader and, because of their age and vulnerability, the effect on the characters, too. The candidate also does well to expand their thematic and social awareness of what "The Beast" represents and how Golding wasn't just speaking for the young boys, but for all of society when the fear of "the beast within" enthralled them so completely that it permanently destroyed their innocence.

Level of analysis

This candidate has done this very well, addressing the important characters and how they each react to the phenomenon of "The Beast" both physically and mentally. The candidate gains top marks for lifting the novel and it's themes off the page and expand them into what they say about society - that the degradation of civilisation and humanity is to be predicted and a potential threat in the form of "The Beast" makes it "inevitable that a group of young boys would feel that way when stranded on an island all alone". To earn even higher marks, candidates might take it even further; note that "The Beast", wonderfully presented by this candidate as the "fear within the boys", threatens the fragile construct of our world of democracy and civilisation, and in this urgent paranoia we see the downfall of our humanity and a rise in our primitive, animalistic incentives.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is fine. Not perfect in anyway, but no error featured in this candidate's response is any cause for concern. The answer uses a range of vocabulary and the spelling, punctuation and grammar are relatively in-check.

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Peer reviewed

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