In Lord of the Flies, who was the boy who first mentions that there is a beast who comes out of the water?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter Two of Lord of the Flies, Ralph, Jack, and Simon explore the island, discovering that there are wild pigs, but it does not appear that the island is inhabited. Upon returning Ralph blows the conch, summoning all the boys to a meeting. He informs them that the island is uninhabited. He tells the boys, "This is our island. It's a good island. Until the grownups come to fetch us, we'll have fun." Jack steps in and tells them there are pigs and other food and bathing water in a little stream. He asks, "Didn't anyone find anything else?"

The older boys notice the little boy only because he resists another group of smaller ones who urge him forward. 

He was a shrimp of a boy; about six years old, and one side of his face was blotted out by a mulberry-colored birthmark.

Forcibly made to come forward, the little boy mutters something and suppresses tears. When he holds out his hands for the conch, the older ones laugh. Piggy shouts for them to allow the little boy to hold the conch, but "the blow of laughter had taken away the boy's voice." So, Piggy kneels beside him, listening and interpreting for the small child.

"He wants to know what you're going to do about the snake-thing."

Ralph and the older boys laugh. "Tell us about the snake thing." Piggy interprets, "Now he says it was a beastie....Ever so big. He saw it." Then, Ralph explains kindly that nothing so big would be on the island. But, the small boy continues, telling Piggy that the beastie came in the dark., and went away, but returned because it wanted to eat him. And, he tells Piggy that it turned into the vines that hang in the branches of trees, but tonight it will return. However, Ralph reassures the boys by insisting that there is no beastie.

Shortly after this mention of a "beastie," the boys climb the mountain and attempt to build a rescue fire; however, it burns quickly and nearly overtakes the island. Not only that, but the boy with the birthmark goes missing and is never found. This small boy stands for the weakest part of the group, as well as their own fears that create what they believe is the beast.

durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Lord of The Flies, despite the idyllic and "enchanted" island and the fact that the boys are not controlled by "grown ups," and so intend to have some fun, whilst waiting to be rescued, discussions surrounding the beast continue to dominate their conversation. They think it is "snake-like" at first even though Ralph maintains that there is no beast but the fear persists and, in chapter five, they talk about an "animal." Jack points out that a beast couldn't live in the forest because he has been everywhere and has never come across it. Then they think it may be a ghost which prompts a "littlun" to speak up about "something moving among the trees... big and horrid." That turns out to have been Simon and he is unceremoniously told off for "gliding about..." at night. 

It seems that the problem is still not resolved and, almost against his will, Percival Wemys Madison, a littlun, is encouraged to speak up. However, he is so overwhelmed that he cries and sets off the other littluns. Fortunately, Maurice manages to change the tone and everyone is soon laughing. Jack, however, is not content and presses Percival for an answer to where the beast might live. Percival only manages to mutter something before he falls asleep. Jack, in an attempt to be casual about what Percival has just told him, says, "He says the beast comes out of the sea." 

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Lord of the Flies

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