1. “You’re a beast and a swine and a bloody, bloody thief!” (Golding 252). 2. “I expect the beast disguised itself” (Golding 225). 3. “’ ‘Course there isn’t a beast in the forest.
How could there be? What would a beast eat?’ ‘Pig.’ ‘We eat pig.’” (Golding 83). 4. “’Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!’” (Golding 143). 5. “’No go, Piggy. We’ve got no fire. That thing sits up there – we’ll have to stay here.’” (Golding 129). 6. “’ Be frightened because you’re like that – but there is no beast in the forest.’” (Golding 83). 7. “But a sign came down from the world of grown-ups, though at the time there was no child awake to read it. There was a sudden bright explosion and corkscrew trail across the sky; then darkness again and stars. There was a speck above the island, a figure dropping swiftly beneath a parachute, a figure that hung with dangling limbs.” (Golding 95).
[Simon] “What I mean is… maybe it’s only us” (Golding 120).
In the Lord of the Flies, much of the boys’ trouble is due to the “beast” on the island. In this quote, Simon explains his feeling that the beast is within the boys themselves. After all, belief in the beast first came from the worries of a littlun. As Simon attempts to convey, the contents of the boys’ minds and hearts are the most destructive, and perhaps only, beastly thing on the island. The group subsequently rejects the idea that civilized English boys could possibly be compared to beasts. The boys’ denial of their own power is later contrasted to their vicious search for it, such as when Jack becomes the main physical threat on the island.
To Simon and the readers, the “beast” becomes a symbol for the dark side of human ability: dangerous, savage, and uncontrollable. Jack’s tribe members become known even to the boys as savages, the closest man comes to beasts of nature. The “beast” can also refer to human nature: man’s ability to lose his humanity and instead be controlled by fear, ignorance, and evil. The more they boys try to protect themselves from an external beast, the more they themselves embody the symbol by the qualities they possess.