Lord of the Flies

by: William Golding

Man’s inherent evil

1

“Maybe there is a beast… Maybe it’s only us.”

While the other boys are afraid of a sea monster or some winged creature, Simon meditates on the metaphysical nature of the beast, wondering if they should fear their own natures instead of some outside force. Simon predicts that there is a darkness lurking in the hearts of the boys on the island, and rejects the notion of a beast.

2

“Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!... You knew didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?”

The Lord of the Flies says this to Simon when he is isolated, in the woods. The Lord of the Flies confirms Simon’s theory about the beast, explaining that the darkness that is within human beings can’t be killed. Here, Golding uses dialogue to point to his larger allegory, to answer “why things are what they are.”

3

“His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink.”

Jack relishes what he feels after a particularly satisfying hunt. Here, Golding makes a connection between Jack’s thrill of the hunt and his desire to commit violence. Even at the first assembly, Jack is obsessed with the idea of hunting, which, Golding suggests, betrays his desire to take life.


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