The Symbolism of Beastie in Lord of the Flies

Question: What does the Beastie symbolize in the novel?


The “beast” in William Golding’s (1911-1993) novel “Lord of the Flies” began as a symbol of fear and something that was ignored but eventually led to chaos and evil. On the island, the beast expresses itself in a variety of ways. In this novel, Golding shows the beast in chapters 5 and 6.

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Beast introduces fear

The beast introduces fear into the island. The young boys have nightmares about this beast that appears to them like a snake, which is symbolic of the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Representing evil

The beast is a kind of barbaric supernatural personality, but in most cases, it exists in the heart of every human being as a symbol of potential evil and violence. The boys are afraid of the beast but only Simon reaches the realization that they fear the beast because it exists within each of them. Simon is the one who knows the truth that there is no beast on the island. Boys become the beast when they kill Simon. Thus, the beast represents the evil that exists in our hearts.

Beast Symbolizes savagery and barbarism

Here Jack is the manipulator, he uses the beast as a way of gaining and maintaining power. He uses the beast to unify the boys over a common fear. Jack presents himself as a strong leader who can protect the boys from the threat. As the boys give in to more primal instincts, Jack solidifies his power by projecting himself as a hunter with authoritative knowledge about the beast.

“Well then- I’ve been all over this island by myself. If there were a beast, I’d have seen it. Be frightened because you’re like that – but there is no beast in the forest.”

The dark side of human nature

The beast in the novel symbolizes the dark side of human nature. Simon was martyred for trying to bring them the truth about what they believed to be animals. The pilot and his killing symbolize that the real beast is actually evil inside humans.

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In a more analytical sense, the beast is a symbolic representation of evil human nature in human society when it is outside the structure or law of society.

S Ridoy Kumar
S Ridoy Kumar
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