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

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding
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In Lord of the Flies, why does Jack's group honor the beast? Why do they mount the pig's head on the stick as a gift for the beast? Because of the successful hunt?

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Jack's group honor the beast because they are afraid of it. They believe that if they leave gifts, such as the pig's head, for the beast, that the beast will leave them alone. Jack fears the beast, but he is also using it to gain power. Honoring the beast also has a symbolic meaning. A tired and thirsty Simon hallucinates that the pig head is talking to him.

"I'm the Beast . . . You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you?"

The beast the boys are honoring is actually the beast inside each of them. Jack's group has embraced savagery and completely disavowed the civility and lawfulness that Ralph has tried so hard to maintain. By honoring the beast, Jack's group is no longer afraid of the beast, the beast within themselves. They become savages.

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Jack's group honors the beast as a way to placate, or appease, the beast. Ancient civilizations and uncivilized tribes have offered sacrifices to gods and other entities as a way to create harmony between the ones presenting the sacrifice and the one receiving the sacrifice.  It was thought that if a gift of a sacrifice was given to the entity, then the entity would look kindly upon those presenting the gift.  Jack's group, as well as the other boys on the island, fear the beast whether they openly admit to its existence or not.  In chapter 8, when Jack and his group put the head of the pig on the stick, Jack says, "This head is for the beast.  It's a gift."  He figures that as long as he keeps giving the beast a gift, the beast won't bother him.  Golding is showing, in this part, how much the boys have regressed in their civility.  They have become primitive man, offering sacrifices to unknown and unreal entities.

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