In Lord of The Flies, the boys' paranoia is increasing, the fire has gone out and, with it, the potential for recovery from a passing ship. Ralph is particularly angry and understands "the wearisomeness of this life." Ralph is aware of Piggy's superior ability for thought, despite his "ludicrous body, (he) had brains."
The assembly has been called in the evening and so perception is quite different than usual, with shadows and reflections. Ralph is intent on making everyone see the serious side; no more fun. They talk of "the beast" in an attempt to show how ridiculous the concept is but Phil, a "littleun" talks of his nightmare and "something big and horrid moving in the trees" which has the boys spellbound in fear. Ralph dispels their fear and Simon admits that he goes off in the dark so the figure the boy saw was him. But then Percival speaks.
Percival cries and sets the tone for the other small boys to do the same and he reveals that "the beast comes out of the sea." This changes the focus of Ralph's meeting as the boys are "arguing gesticulating shadows." "Fear, beasts, no general agreement that the fire was all important" has Ralph worried.
Simon tries to speak, revealing that the "Beast" is what is inside the boys - "maybe it's only us." This is too philosophical for the boys to understand who make fun of Simon and his "ghost." They then attempt to state that they do not believe in ghosts but the fear is now well entrenched as Percival is "living through circumstances" and "a thin wail out of the darkness chilled them."