In the book "Lord of the Flies", what is the beast?

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In chapter 9 of Lord of the Flies, Simon discovers the "beast" that initially sent their group of boys into a frenzy on the island: a dead parachutist. His body is caught in the parachute, which is flowing with the wind, and his head is covered in flies. Simon begins to vomit from the sight of it. Once he stops, he frees the parachute from the rocks by untangling the lines and heads down the mountain eager to tell the other boys about his discovery.

However, Simon stumbles onto the beach amidst the group's frenzied dancing and chanting (done on Jack's command after Ralph asked how he was going to survive the storm without shelter). In their delusion, the group thinks Simon is the beast and kill him. His body is washed away by the storm, and the wind blows the dead parachutist off the top of the mountain directly onto the beach with the other boys.

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At the end of the book, the beast is revealed to be the savagery inside of the boys. You could generalize this and apply it the savagery that lies below the surface of all humans.  In the absence of civilization, the beast reigns on the island.  Only Simon was able to truly see it but was powerless to protect himself from it.  

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