What is the significance of the mountaintop in Lord of the Flies?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The mountaintop on the island on which the boys are stranded in Lord of the Flies represents the primary source of survival. It is a place where they can keep watch on waters below in case any ships come into view. It is also the location for which a signal fire can best be seen from a distance. Yet, it becomes the place where fear begins to consume the children, since the mountaintop is inhabited by the "beast from the air"--the dead parachutist--and it becomes the place where none of the boys want to return. Eventually, only Simon is willing to return to where the beast lives, and he alone will recognize that their fears are unfounded.