Books and Movies Reviews

Lord of the Flies

The Savage Side of Human Nature: The True Beast
In Lord of the Flies, the beast is a presence throughout the entire book. First seen by a littleun when he is frightened in the dark, the beast is seen everywhere by the boys, but only when they are afraid. Towards the end of the book, the boys begin to become more savage. They still believe the beast is a real being that is to be feared, but the reader begins to see that the true beast is not a physical being at all, but a side of the boys themselves. Many people would argue that the beast is an actual presence on the island, but we believe there is more to it and that the beast is the boys' fear and the darker, savage side of human nature coming out.
Thefirst time we see the beast is in the beginning of the story. They say it is the littleuns' fear that started it. Jack says at a meeting, "'You littleuns started all this, with the fear talk. Beasts!'"(82) Eventually, Jack and Ralph convince the boys to some extent that the beast is only their imaginations running wild. Jack also describes how he believes fear plays a major role. He says, "'Be frightened, because you're like that-but there is no beast in the forest'" (83). By saying this, Jack shows how he sees that the beast is nothing more than fear; however, he swiftly loses this insight when his savage instincts take over.
When the savages kill the pig and leave its head for the beast, their actions show how their darker, more primitive sides have caused them to become something other than what they originally were. Although they did not know there was not really a beast that could come up and eat them, they believed in it enough that they killed so it would not kill them. They all started believing in the idea of the beast, and Jack leaves a gift for the beast because he is starting to believe: "'This head is for the beast. It's a gift.'"