In this extract from the novel, Ralph, Jack and Roger, though frightened and armed only with three
sticks, are approaching what Jack has described as “a thing”. Sam and Eric said this thing was the
beast. The three boys are frightened and Golding makes the scene frightening for the reader.
The setting is a frightening one. It is night-time, but not completely dark as there is “a patch of
lighter sky where in a moment the moon would arise”. The boys’ situation is dangerous, high above
the “glittering lengths of the lagoon” and the “long white smudge that was the reef”. Golding has