In Lord of the Flies, what is the connection between the pig's head and the beast?

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first discussion of a "beast" in Lord of the Flies is from chapter 5. This beast represents the children's fear--fear that comes from nightmares, from being separated from their homes and parents, and from the unknown. The "beast from air" in chapter 6 is a physical object, namely the corpse of a paratrooper and his parachute. This beast represents the downward spiral of society that exists not just on the island but to a greater extent in the outside world, which is in a state of nuclear war. This beast foreshadows the third beast, the Lord of the Flies, that Simon meets in chapter 8. The "pig's head on a stick" that Golding names "the Lord of the Flies" is the culmination of the other two beasts. As early as chapter 5, Simon had postulated about the beast, "maybe it's only us," which brought scorn from the other boys. In chapter 6, Simon says he doesn't believe in the beast. But in chapter 8, he meets the beast in the form of the pig's head and learns what it really is: "I'm part of you? Close, close, close! I'm the reason why it's no go? Why things are what they are?" Here we get the answer to the mystery of the beasts. The moral darkness within the human heart is what causes both fear and the destruction of society through hatred and violence. The pig's head ties both the beast from the sea and the beast from the air together, showing that they both stem from man's inner depravity.

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Lord of the Flies

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