Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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Who is mistaken as the beast and killed by the group in Lord of the Flies?

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kshufford29 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Although Simon was the only character mistaken as the beast and killed by the group, one could argue that Piggy was also killed by the group because of the beast.

In Piggy's situation, the beast is more of a metaphor. The boys have gone wild by chapter 11—Jack has built his own tribe and fortress, and Ralph and Piggy can't seem to reason with them about the necessity of a signal fire. The wildness inside the boys (the "beast") gets Jack so caught up and power-hungry that when Ralph, Piggy, Sam, and Eric show up to request Piggy's glasses and try to reason about the fire, Jack's men capture Sam and Eric, and Ralph lunges at Jack.

The two of them fight while Piggy stands off to the side, attempting to reason with the insanity that has overcome them all. (The insanity again symbolizes the "beast" within the boys.) But as Jack and Ralph fight, and Piggy tries to act as the voice of reason, another boy shoves a rock down the mountain. Ralph can see the rock and evades it; however, Piggy (whose glasses were taken by Jack and his men) doesn't see it coming and is hit and thrown off the mountainside to his death.

Although Piggy wasn't mistaken for the beast, it was the insanity and wildness within all of the boys (their inner beast) that caused Piggy to die.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It is Simon who both discovers the true identity of the beast and is mistaken for the beast in Chapter 9 of Lord of the Flies. After Simon awakes from a long sleep, he decides to trek up the mountain to confront the beast. He is the first one of the boys to determine its true identity: a dead paratrooper who has become entangled in his chutes. The head of the man is covered in flies, like the head of the pig. After freeing the body from the lines, Simon returns to tell the boys the truth about the beast. But the boys are celebrating, dancing in a tribal circle and chanting "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" Simon appears during a lightning storm at the height of the dance, and the boys mistake him for the beast itself, and they beat him to death on the beach.

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