Lord of the FliesWhat does this mean: 'I know here isn't no beast-not with claws and all that, I mean-but I know there isn't no fear either. ..Unless-...Unless we get frightened of people

Asked on by shawntb

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e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This is a statement regarding projection. Piggy understands that there is no need for a physical beast or monster on the island to create an "objective" fear among the boys, something which they reasonably should fear because the danger that the boys represent to themselves is (or can be) quite real. 

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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These words are spoken by Piggy, the logical, scientific thinker.  In Chapter Five he approaches the understanding that the beast lies within the hearts of man as he suggests "unless we get frightened of people."  But, the boys do not understand him and they heckle him instead.  In their ignorance of the inherent evil of mankind, the boys fear something external; when Simon attempts later to explain what he understands intuitively, the hunters savagely kill him, proving the truth of Simon's comprehension of evil.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The true beast is the fear within the boys and for one another. There is no tangible beast in the animal sense--only the fears inside their own hearts and the fear of the breakdown of civilized behavior.

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