Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Hired Girl

Laura Amy Schlitz

> Back to 60second Recap® Study Guide Library > Lord of the Flies

7. Symbols: It's a beast.

Lord of the Flies

William Golding, 1954
Famous for: The Beast, a talking pig’s head on a stake, a horrific descent into chaos and savagery.

Symbols in literature such as Lord of the FliesIf you ever thought there was a bogeyman in your closet, or a monster under your bed, then you can probably relate to the boys in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

They’re not on their desert island for more than a few days before there are whispers about The Beast—and disappearing children. So what is this mysterious beast?

A symbol for one thing.

Find out more in this Recap.

Since Lord of the Flies is an allegory—head back to Recap 2: Time Flies to refresh your memory on that—there are more symbols in this novel than you’ll know what to do with.

Civilization versus Savagery: Nation by Terry Pratchett. 60second Book ReviewHere’s one you should be sure to understand. When you’re alone on an island, things can get a little … creepy.

Perhaps that’s why, when Ralph calls one of his famous meetings to rally the troops, the “littluns,” as the smallest boys are called, publicly point the finger at a Beast lurking in the forest. A boy has gone missing, after all, and there are shadows—dark shadows in the night.

Well, of course, there is no Beast, any more than there’s a bogeyman hiding under your bed. But the idea that some horrible Thing lies in wait drives these boys to a kind of insanity.

Soon, they’re trying to appease the Beast with sacrifices—like it’s some kind of god. (Talk about a symbol!)

Ralph tries to bring order through a meeting (as if), and it is here that the idea of the Beast takes hold. Civilization pitted against savagery, and savagery is the victor.

That’s the beast: The savage within each of us. The evil we’re capable of. The littluns were right. The Beast does lurk.

Just not “out there.” In here. Within you.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay


Like the Recap? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email5k