How can the storm be seen as a example of pathetic fallacy?Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The storm that batters the island can be interpreted as a pathetic fallacy--the attribution of human emotions or characteristics to nature--because it embodies the chaos and savagery of the hunters in Chapter 9 of Lord of the Flies.

When Simon recovers from his seizure, he struggles through the creepers and staggers against the battering wind as he attempts to return to the others and report to them his revelations about the "beast."  On the grassy platform, the boys celebrate their hunt.  With the approaching storm, Ralph and Piggy feel trepidation, so they join the others.  As the thunderstorm builds, rain begins to fall; the littl'uns panic and run.  Then, in imitation of the natural turbulence, Jack orders the ritual dance, and Roger pretends to be the pig.  The boys chant, "Kill the beast! Cut his throat!  Spill his blood!"  At this point, the beast--the body of Simon falls over the steep rock onto the beach.  Simultaneously, the "clouds opened and let down the rain like a waterfall" and the gale-like wind blows as the parachutist falls and is swept out to sea.

Somewhere over the darkend curve of the world the sun and moon were pulling, and the film of water on the earth planet was held, bulging slightly on one side while the solid core turned.  The great wave of the tide moved farther along the island and the water lifted.  Softly, surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon's dead body moved out toward the open sea.

Not only does the storm imitate the turbulence of the anarchy that has overcome the island, but it eradicates the intuitive Simon who is the only one who has understood the evil within man, the beast.

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