In Lord of the Flies, what is the paradox of the boys' attitude toward the beast?

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In literature, a paradox is when two contradictory concepts or beliefs are juxtaposed to reveal a significant, underlying truth. In the novel Lord of the Flies, there is a paradox attached to the boys' attitude toward the beast. The beast does not exist, but the boys fear it nonetheless. Their attitude towards the fictional beast reveals their actual fear of the unknown. They try to rationalize their fears by discussing the identity and existence of the beast. While Ralph, Jack, and Piggy maintain that there is no such thing as the beast, the boys remain fearful. The underlying truth in this paradox is that the boys fear what they do not understand. Their fear of the beast represents their fear of the unknown, which is a significant trait shared by all humans. We as humans tend to fear the unknown, and Golding illuminates this common fear in the boys’ attitude towards the beast throughout the novel.

Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question