In Lord of the Flies, Chapter 8, what evil does the lord of the flies symbolize?Besides foreshadowing Simon's death, what are the dark points in their conversation?

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aquirk27 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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The evil that the Lord symbolizes is essentially the theme to Golding’s novel. He uses this story to illustrate the innate savagery that lies within all men when taken outside of the confines of social expectations. Are humans innately good or bad? Is it society that teaches us to behave or are we born good and society teach us methods of destruction? Golding’s plot and dynamic characterization gives us his perspective. These young boys, when left to their own devices for survival, mostly turn to the uncivilized methods of leadership, nourishment, and social interaction. They have even gone so far as to mark themselves with "war pain"t in a manner originally found in pre-civilized societies.  This theme is that mankind is essentially evil and there is no escaping it because it lies within us all. Golding uses Simon as the contrasting speaker because he is the most innately-good human being of all the boys. He is the one who faces the purest evil, the realization that humans are actually the "beasts" who are to be the most feared. Upon the close of the conversation, Simon faints from the distress he experienced during the encounter. This forebodes his impending, although accidental, death; this occurs immediately in the next chapter by the same savages who horrifically killed the pig. The pig’s statement of the evil which lies within all men comes to light during Simon’s murder.

The darkest point of the conversation is when the pig speaks cynically with “Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!” as he is illustrating that there is no chance of the boys ever eliminating the evils that live inside them all.

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