The beast is first described as a "snake-thing." What do you think is the significance of this? Where else do images of snakes appear in the novel?

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The Beast's supposedly snake-like demeanor represents trouble in paradise. Just as Satan disguised as a serpent messed things up for Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, so the Beast looks set to introduce evil to the remote desert island on which the boys have been stranded. When the boys first fetched up on the island, they thought it was paradise. Free from adult supervision, they had themselves a whale of a time. But the discovery of what they think is a creepy Beast stalking the island has put a bit of a dampener on things. Of course, the Beast isn't actually real, but the evil certainly is. Only it's lurking in the hearts of some of the boys—most notably Jack and Roger —rather than in...

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