What does the the dead man in the parachute represent in chapters 6 and 7?

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renelane's profile pic

renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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The dead parachutist is symbolic of the "beast" the boys fear. The boys fear a beast that is mythical in nature, yet the discovery of the corpse puts their fears in a physical form.

Previously the beast was not a fleshed out figure to the boys. Whatever fears each boy might have had created their own personal idea of what the beast was.

Because the parachutist obviously experienced a violent and tragic death it also is symbolic of what the boys fear most. The rotting corpse is symbolic of the rotting away of civility and order on the island.

latidogmail's profile pic

latidogmail | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

The dead man represents the fear on the island that started with it being called the "snake thing" in the forest at night. It is later called the beast and turns the boys into savages. Samneric see it and tell everyone that they saw the beast, which leades Jack and his hunters,and Ralph to castle rock, the only place Jack has not been on the island. They soon find out that the "beast is on the mountain and is preventing their hope of being rescued. The beast leads to savagery and causes the death of the beloved characters, Simon and Piggy.

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