Please explain the meaning or significance of this quote from Lord of the Flies. “Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!” said the head. For a moment or two the forest...

Please explain the meaning or significance of this quote from Lord of the Flies.

“Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!” said the head. For a moment or two the forest and all the other dimly appreciated places echoed with the parody of laughter. “You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?”

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cdives | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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This quotation, when Simon is in his hiding spot having a conversation with the Lord of the Flies is a very important moment in the book.  The boys are looking for an external beast. The pig head is saying that the beast is within. Human's often look for the external beast, the monsters and enemies that are to be feared, rather than accept our own individaul flaws and beastish natures. Humans are flawed, we have violent tendencies and dark emotions/desiers (greed, envy, etcetera).  All of the boys on the island have a negative part to them. Even Ralph and Piggy get involved in pig dance ritual when Simon is killed. Simon, however, is above this. For the Christ-imagery (or religious allegory) of the book Simon is different. He is the helper (think of when he helped build the huts, when he fed the littleuns), he is the one who is different, an outsider, but also the one with understanding, he his mystical (as also represented by his name).  When Simon has the understanding that there is not really a physical beast he goes to tell the others (bringing the dead parachutist with him) and ends up getting killed. This could be representative of carnality killing knowledge, or of the killing of Christ (depending upon th e allegory, imagery you are using). With a poliitcal allegory it could relate to something like Communism (Jack) courts democracy (Ralph) and destroys Knowledge (Simon).

Ultimately it is important in all the symbolisms of the book that Simon, the only individual who understands the truth, is destoryed.This relates directly to the theme that understanding is often destroyed by other desires/traits.

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