One of the most telling scenes of the entire novel which addresses Golding's central theme of "man's essential illness" in Lord of the Flies occurs in chapter eight, "Gift for the Darkness," when Simon encounters the Lord of the Flies. Seeking to understand the presence of the beast on the island, Simon enters into a mockery of a conversation with the Lord of the Flies, Golding's own version of evil personified in the form of a rotting sow's head on a stick. The Lord of the Flies taunts Simon with his version of the truth:
"Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn't you?" said the head. [...] "You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you? Close, close, close! I'm the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?" (Chapter 8).
The Lord of the Flies promises decay and corruption; his very nature is evil. Through his personification of the Lord of the Flies, Golding illustrates man's inherent evil nature, reinforcing the boys' downward spiral into savagery and chaos.