“What I mean is . . . maybe it’s only us”
Simon speaks these words in Chapter 5, during the meeting in which the boys consider the question of the beast. One littlun has proposed the terrifying idea that the beast may hide in the ocean during the day and emerge only at night, and the boys argue about whether the beast might actually exist. Simon, meanwhile, proposes that perhaps the beast is only the boys themselves. Although the other boys laugh off Simon’s suggestion, Simon’s words are central to Golding’s point that innate human evil exists. Simon is the first character in the novel to see the beast not as an external force but as a component of human nature. Simon does not yet fully understand his own idea, but it becomes clearer to him in Chapter 8, when he has a vision in the glade and confronts the Lord of the Flies.