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Symbolic Meaning of the Beast

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Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy (202) A group of English School boys are marooned on an isolated Island where they create an image of “The Beast” by their worst fears.

The boys hold meetings about the beast, they have nightmares about the beast, they hunt the beast, and the beast figures prominently in the novel, Lord of the Flies (1954) by William Golding, disturbing final chapters(background essay). This book is full of hidden meanings and symbolism. ¨All the symbolisms in this book have yet to be discovered¨ (187). As the reader simply gazes over the book they will think the beast is just a casual beast that everyone fears. But, the more the reader uncovers the symbolism that this book contains, you realize the true meaning of “The Beast”. “The Beast” develops into a more complex figure as the novel progresses. First, the beast is just fear created from the imagination of the littluns. They have no mothers to comfort them and they ¨externizale their fears into the figures of the beast (Rosenfield). Hence, the beast is formed. Second, the beast develops into a meaning of war. As the boys drift farther away from civilization, the beast develops into the savageness of humans and how far humans will go. When they drift away from civilization they will murder and do ungodly things. Beast- bēst/ – Noun an animal, especially a large or dangerous four-footed one (google definition).

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The beast is the main contributing factor to the events in the novel. Many stories have beast in them. But, this story is special. The beast symbolizes something more than just an ordinary animal with four feet that is dangerous. It symbolizes fear, war, and the beast within humans. When the boys first land on the marooned island the littluns create “the beast. ” The kid with the mulberry colored mark is the first one to see it. He is externalizing the fear into the figure of the beast. He says that he sees it at night and when the day comes it turns into the ropes hanging in the trees (pg (35&36). The boys, except the littluns, know this is untrue. Although, everyone has the fear that the beast is there, lurking in the undergrowth.


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