How does William Golding use the beast in the novel as a whole? What might the beast symbolize?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In the story, the boys fear a fictional beast, which they believe lives on the top of the mountain and desires to eat them. The littlun with the mulberry-colored birthmark is the first to claim he’s witnessed the beast, and hysteria quickly spreads among the boys after Samneric see the corpse of a deceased paratrooper on the top of the mountain, which they mistake for the beast. Shortly after Samneric claim that they saw the beast, Jack, Ralph, and Roger also witness the corpse and confirm Samneric’s discovery. The only boy on the island who genuinely understands the true nature of the beast is Simon, who is a symbolic Christ figure. Unlike the others, Simon realizes that the beast is actually the inherent evil inside each boy. Unfortunately, Simon cannot express his opinion in front of the boys because he is too shy and awkward. In Simon’s secluded spot in the forest, he hallucinates and ends up speaking to the severed pig’s head. The Lord of the Flies confirms Simon’s belief by...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 571 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on