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What does Piggy mean by " now we've really got a beast" in Chapter 8 from Lord of the...

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mizzbiebs | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted May 2, 2012 at 11:05 PM via web

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What does Piggy mean by " now we've really got a beast" in Chapter 8 from Lord of the Flies by William Golding?

Who is he specifically talking about?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 3, 2012 at 2:14 AM (Answer #1)

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InThe Lord of the Fliesby William Golding, when a mysterious beast haunts the island, frightening the boys, the character Piggy remains suspicious and pragmatic.  He tends to be more scientific in his beliefs, even explaining to the boys in chapter five why there could not be ghosts or beasts on the island:

"'Cos things wouldn't make sense. Houses an' streets, an' --TV--they wouldn't work" (92)

In chapter eight, "Gift for the Darkness," Piggy's beliefs about the beast shift as he "looked up miserably from the dawn-pale beach to the dark mountain" (124).  The boys have spotted a beast, a real one this time (or so they believe), and Piggy's scientific world falls apart in light of this new evidence. 

When he says "but now we really got a beast though I can't hardly believe it," Piggy tries to grasp the possibility of something he cannot explain away.  Of course, the reader realizes that the "beast" is really a dead parachutist that floated onto the island, but for the boys it is a harrowing possibility.  The tribe has fractured, with Jack leading his hunters away, but logical Piggy turns his mind from the conundrum of the beast to the best way of carrying on without Jack. 

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