Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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How does the fear of the beast accelerate the division among the boys on the island?

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Fear of the beast causes division among the boys because it sets Ralph against Jack. Ralph tries to tell the boys that there isn't a beast. However, what Ralph doesn't realize is that the boys fear cannot be assuaged by the fact that there isn't a beast. They want reassurances that they will be safe and protected. Since Ralph is child himself, he also wants that reassurance but is unsure how to give it. Jack, on the other hand, is able to give the boys the assurance they desire, and because he actually killed a living thing, they believe him when he tells them that he will hunt and kill the beast. Jack's personality allows him to build a false hope in the others, while Ralph's honesty keeps him from gaining the trust of the other boys. This causes an acceleration in the division because the boys begin to choose sides here. Those that believe in the beast begin to side with Jack and rely on his strength to protect them. Ralph, Piggy, and Simon are left to try to keep the stability of society together.

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