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What is the importance of the beast in 'Lord of the Flies'

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Introduction

What is the importance of the beast in 'Lord of the Flies'? You will need to consider: * How the different characters react to the idea of the beast * How ideas about what the beast might be change during the novel * What you think the beast represents All the way throughout the book, of 'Lord of the Flies' there is one main, big theme; the beast. It was first introduced by a small boy who was described as 'a shrimp of a boy, about six years old, and on one side of his face was blotted out by a mulberry-coloured birthmark.' The boy with the mulberry-coloured birthmark said that it was 'a snake-thing, ever so big.' By describing the beast as a 'snake-thing' makes it sound like as if it is something quite abnormal, because he's not so sure about it being a snake. This keeps the beast more of a mystery, and starts making the beast as the unknown. The beast being a snake is quite significant because it's not a huge animal that you can keep a look out for, it's small and you won't even know when it's near you, and can do you as much harm as a lion or tiger would. Ralph when he first hears about the beast laughs it off, and doesn't think about it seriously. He also convinces the other big boys that it was the small boy's imagination. ...read more.

Middle

' "They're frightened...They talk and scream...as you're not hunting, but - being hunted;..." ' page 52-53. Jack was the first one of the big boys to admit that there could be some kind of beast on the island, but because he was the first big boy, he didn't want anyone to think that he was scared, and not brave enough to be a hunter, that's why he kept on saying that it was only a kind of feeling that he had. In the assembly which was held in the dark Jack started to take over Ralph, by saying the same thing about the beast but in a different manner. ' "The thing is - fear can't hurt you more than a dream...I've been all over this island. By myself. If there were a beast I'd have seen it..."page 88 - 89. Jack here is reassuring everyone by saying that he has been all over the island, and would have seen anything if there was a beast. This was a better way to explain to the littluns that there was no beast, and you shouldn't have fear, than Ralph tried to explain it. When Jack first hears that the beast is up on the mountain, he didn't think practically like Ralph, just wanted to go, hunt and kill. ' "Let's be moving," said Jack restlessly, "we're wasting our time."... "This is a hunter's job." page 110 - 111. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Lord of the Flies here tells him that the beast is within them selves. ' "Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill...I'm part of you..." ' This has confirmed what Simon had been saying all this time, that the beast is just the evil, savage part of them. And to prove this he went up to the mountain to check. But when trying to tell the other boys, gets killed savagely by all the other boys. 'Simon was crying out something about a dead man...The beast struggled...There were no words and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws.' page 168 - 169. This is quite important because the only person who knew about the beast had now just been killed by the beast within the other boys. One of the main themes throughout the book is shown as part of the boys. Although at the beginning the beast had no importance in the novel, near the end it was the only theme to concentrate on as everyone could only think about torture, hunt and kill. Before Simon had died, there was some kind civilisation around, and people weren't that much afraid of the beast, as they knew they had someone saying that there was no beast. But after the beast inside themselves kill Simon, everything becomes wild and savage, and there is more of the fear of the unknown. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rahat Ara Wasway 10E 31st October 2005 Lord of the Flies essay - The Beast 1 ...read more.

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