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Lord of the Flies

William Golding

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

11) What is the beast?

At first, the beast is what the “littluns” call the scary things in the night, and it soon represents the unknown and the boys’ fears. Simon discovers that the beast is, in fact, a dead pilot who, readers learn, fell to the island during the night: “There was a speck above the island, a figure dropping swiftly beneath a parachute, a figure that hung with dangling limbs.” Belief in the beast is fueled by Sam and Eric, who hear the opening and closing of the parachute, and by Jack, Ralph, and Roger, who encounter the decayed body of the pilot without recognizing that it is a dead human body, not a beast.