The beast symbolically represents the boys' inherent wicked nature, which becomes more pronounced as the novel progresses and they descend further into savagery. Initially, the littluns fear a "beastie," which they claim lives in the forest and haunts their dreams. As the story progresses, the hysteria concerning the beast continues...
The beast symbolically represents the boys' inherent wicked nature, which becomes more pronounced as the novel progresses and they descend further into savagery. Initially, the littluns fear a "beastie," which they claim lives in the forest and haunts their dreams. As the story progresses, the hysteria concerning the beast continues to grow as the boys gradually begin to embrace their savage nature. After a paratrooper is shot out of the sky and lands on the top of the mountain, Samneric witness its corpse and mistake it for the beast. The paratrooper's corpse symbolically represents the presence of evil on the island and is allegorically related to Satan's descent from heaven. Ralph, Jack, and Roger also witness the corpse and mistake it for the beast, which dramatically increases the hysteria among the group of boys, who begin looking towards Jack for protection.
Simon is a symbolic Christ-figure and is the only boy who understands the true nature of the beast. Unlike the others, Simon realizes that the beast is not a physical monster that can be hunted and is actually the inherent evil, which is present in each boy. Despite Simon's understanding, the boys begin leaving the beast sacrifices and treating it as a totemic god. In chapter eight, Simon comes face-to-face with the Lord of the Flies and the severed pig's head confirms his belief by telling him,
"Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!...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?" (Golding, 206).
After interacting with the Lord of the Flies, Simon climbs the mountain and discovers that the "beast" is actually the corpse of a deceased paratrooper. Tragically, Simon is mistaken for the beast when he runs onto the beach to inform the boys of his discovery and is brutally beaten to death. Overall, the beast symbolically represents mankind's inherent wickedness and savage instincts, which flourish in an environment without rules or regulations.