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What does the beast represent in The lord of the flies?

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Introduction

What does the beast represent in The lord of the flies? The lord of the flies is an allegorical novel that tells the simple story of a group of boys trapped on an island after a plane crash, but Golding also uses that story to symbolize "the beast within." The "beast" is actually what the boys become and in this essay I intend to explain the meaning of the beast in further detail. This is a complex story and there are many different levels, and representations of the beast. Golding wrote the book to show how political systems cannot control society effectively without considering the defects in our typical human nature. The novel takes place during World War II. Golding got the idea for the book because of his experiences in the war; he served in the Navy where he learnt the sinfulness of man. It's interesting that the war is mentioned indirectly at the beginning and end of the novel but nowhere in between. Golding uses the weather to create atmosphere which is demonstrated in the tribal dance; there is a powerful, destructive storm, becoming stronger and more dominant, this setting is made to represent the destructive act that is about to happen; the killing of Simon, and how the beasts' hold on the hunters tribe has become stronger, this image is ...read more.

Middle

Piggy, who represents the society's combined personality, uses his glasses to find solutions to the boys' problems. The most important solution the glasses find is lighting the fire, the boys' best chance of being rescued. The glasses are eventually smashed, representing the boys losing touch with their old lives, now they have become a wild tribe. The beast, the Lord of the Flies, is seen as a real object on the island which frightens the boys. Actually the beast is something internal; the Lord of the Flies is in soul and mind of the boys, leading them to the natural disorder and mayhem of a civilisation with no reasoning adults. Only Simon understands what the real beast is, but is killed when he tries to tell the boys about the Lord of the Flies. The beast shows how we create something evil in our lives so we can be seen as good. The boys create many different images of the beast; the snake thing is one of these, it is a "beastie" from the woods seen by only one boy alone in the dark, this is seen towards the beginning of the story and is the first image of a beast, Ralph immediately tries to dismiss this because "there isn't a beastie," of course he is right and most agree, except a few of the younger boys who are a little frightened of the idea. ...read more.

Conclusion

Why things are what they are?" then Simon talks back. After his conversation he finds that the beast was only the parachutist, and the real beast is what the other boys have become. He is the only one to realise this because he is unafraid. He runs to the group to tell them what he knows, but is tragically killed by the tribe during a fierce dance, which takes place in the storm. At the end of Golding's novel, the titles' meaning has long been realised; the lords of the flies, is the; devil, beastie, snake, parachutist, thing from the air/sea/woods and it is the beast within. The head of the dead sow is symbolic of the lord of the flies. The lord of the flies has won when the boys had become savages. I believe that Golding has decided what he wants to say in this novel, and put it across successfully in a discreet fashion, and he has this done without flaw, but I will say the story is so symbolic it needs much thought to really understand. Although the story is complex and at times confusing, once you realise the various different meanings present, it can be quite rewarding, and the overall story alone is extremely moving. I personally prefer to look at both meanings; that there is some evil (a beast) in all of us, and that each of the characters represent different aspects of the human personality. ...read more.

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