What does Golding mean by "the throb and stamp of a single organism" in "Lord of the Flies"?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During the ritual on the beach in Chapter 9 of "Lord of the Flies," the boys act as a single, primitive organism; that is, they all share an innate savagery that is within humans devoid of any civilization. Previously, Simon encountered the beast who Simon thinks tells him, ""Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill....I'm part of you?"

This ritual begins after the confrontation of Ralph, who represents civilization that builds shelters and Jack, who represents the savage that hunts and kills. Ralph wathces the flames and evening coming "not with calm beauty but with the threat of violence."  When Jack asks who will join his tribe, Ralph counters by asking what they will do now that rain is coming and they have no shelters. As the littluns begin to run and scream, Jack unifies his tribe in the ritual dance:  "

Piggy and Ralph, under the threat of the sky, found themselves eager to take a place...on the brown backs of the fence that hemmed in the terror and made it governable.

Slowly the chant loses its excitement and begins "to beat like a steady pulse." As the littluns form another circle, the circles revolve

as though repetition would achieve safety ....There was the throb and stamp of a single organism.

One in savagery, they yell "Kill the beast..." and Simon, crawling from his seizure is beaten to death.  In their savage frenzy, the boys have killed the one truly good person, Simon.  

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Lord of the Flies

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