Animal Symbolism In Lord Of The Flies

Improved Essays
In the Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, a group of boys are stranded on an island after a plane crash and must survive the islands, and as the story progresses, each other. There are many motifs and symbols throughout the book, but one of the most important ones is the beast. The beast came in many forms over the course of the novel. It started off as a monster in the sea, then on the land and in the air and eventually as the head of a sow. The beast represents inner human evil because at first it showed the boys the fear of being on the island, then it became a source of manipulation, and finally encouraged savagery in the boys toward the end of the novel. In the beginning of the book, the beast represented fear, specifically showing …show more content…
In the beginning, even Jack was hesitant to kill a pig, but toward the end there is no hesitation in the boys to kill, whether it was a pig or human. The violent way that they killed pigs to the murder of Piggy shows this, opting for killing rather than peace and taking joy in causing pain. Even Ralph wanted to get in on the killing when Roger pretended to a pig for a game and it got out of control, wanting to cause pain. “The desire to squeeze and hurt was overwhelming” (115). Ralph never showed any desire to want to hunt before, leaving it to the hunters and instead focusing on civilization, but as their game continues Ralph wants to hurt, and it doesn’t matter to him or anyone else that it’s their friend they’re attacking. They react the same to attacking a human as they did with pigs. Later on, Ralph gets told by Samneric, “They hate you, Ralph. They 're going to do you” (188). Rather than leaving Ralph be, considering one boy couldn’t do much harm and he didn’t have any desire to do so in the first place, Jack’s tribe only wants to kill Ralph. At this point, the beast is the boys, not the island. Nature was not the thing to be feared anymore, and the boys knew that. Instead, what they had to fear and fight off was each other, and Jack refused to let him live if he felt Ralph would never join them and would always push for rescue. The want to kill and hurt was the worst the boys had become and they realized this at the end when they had been rescued, and while the beast had started off as fear, throughout the book it had changed into the darkness within the boys.
In Lord of the Flies, many motifs are present that added onto the story, such as the fire, Piggy 's glasses and the conch. The one that added the most to the novel is the beast, which had changed from showing the boys fear of the island to a becoming a way of manipulation

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    In the novel Lord of The Flies, young boys become stranded on an island after there ship crashes. These boys, having never known each other before, try their best to stay alive using survival techniques. However, as time passes the boys start to loose sight of civilization and a type of darkness takes over them. One boy in particular named Jack becomes power hungry and looses all sight of good verses bad. Jack exemplifies the theme of power through his steadfast descent into madness and his actions towards other characters.…

    • 1113 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Flies Fear Quotes

    • 1273 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Their fear of the unknown, personified as the beast, causes the boys on the island to descend into madness through delusions and irrational choices. The constant illusions of a beast that does not exist, reckless decisions that harm the boy’s chances of survival, and the death of Simon are all driven by the fear of the beast. The boys begin fearing…

    • 1273 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Furthermore, Jack used the idea of having rules, and twisted it to the idea of having rules so that if they are broken, there will be punishment, because he wanted a reason to be savage without having to admit it to himself. To continue, when hunting became the thing that defined if you would survive on the island or not, Jack immediately used his thirst and power for hunting to his advantage and tried to rule Ralph off of his position as chief, because he did not hunt. As he was saying ‘’ And you shut up !Who are you, anyways? Sitting there - telling people what to do. You can’t hunt, you can’t sing-’’(Golding 98), then later added ‘’ He’s like Piggy.…

    • 2350 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Beast Everyone is fearful of something although in the book "The Lord of the Flies," the most feared thing happens to be a beast. This is like how little kids are fearful of a monster under their bed. In this story the boys happen to be stranded because of a failure to evacuate them away from world war 2. The boys get stranded on an island and try to have structure but civilization is quickly lost especially because of a beast that is supposedly on the island. In the book the beast adapts throughout the story as more events happen to the boys on the island.…

    • 739 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    At the beginning when Jack explores the island, he is too scared to kill a pig that comes to him as stated on page 31, “They knew very well why he hadn’t: because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood.” Jack is not fully overcome by savagery yet, and as a result of that, he does not kill the pig that comes to him. Jack becomes more and more savage like through his time on the island. Near the end, he is so overcome by savagery that he decides to kill a sow that is with her babies. At this climax, all the humanity within Jack seizes to exist. Jack would not have killed an innocent being had he been part of a civilized society.…

    • 1225 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Everyone on the farm wanted to torture and then kill him. George did not want Lennie to die unhappy. He wanted to make sure his friend thought they were going to reach their dream, even though the situation would not allow it. He just wanted Lennie to remember what could have been, since this was the last time he’d be thinking about it. Undeterred by the fact that it was morally wrong, his need to please his friend drove his action.…

    • 1893 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Then when anyone breaks ‘em –’” (Golding 32). Jack is only excited about having rules so that he can punish whoever breaks them. He does not want to maintain order, as opposed to Ralph who institutes these rules in the first place so that all their activities on the island are kept civilized. Jack is able to fulfill his desire to punish and inflict pain when he ties up Wilfred and tortures him. Nobody ever finds out why Wilfred is beaten, which suggests that Jack only did it to inspire awe and fear amongst…

    • 1429 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    His primeval nature is suppressed by the morals that the British culture imbedded within him. This is a conflict between civilization and human nature, because civilization tells Jack that it is wrong to kill, but his human nature is telling him to kill in order to survive. In this situation, he stops himself from killing the pig, but as the plot progresses, Jack turns away from these morals and he allows the darkness in him to take over. The lack of adults on the island plays a major role in his turn to savagery, because no one is there to ensure they act morally. The absence of adults means that civilization is also absent.…

    • 486 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Instead, the reason behind his cruel schemes is due to his fear of losing power. When the topic of the Beast is first introduced, fairly after Ralph is elected chief and before the boys all went wild, Jack attempts to earn himself control over the other boys, his potential tribe, by declaring, “If there’s a Beast, we’ll hunt it down! We’ll close in and beat and beat and beat!” (91). Within the quote, it is clear that Jack has had cruelty inside of him, even before he turned into a savage, because he is telling the littluns that they will “hunt it [the Beast] down” even though it has not harmed or even encountered the society of boys yet. Additionally, it cruelty is obviously present on Jack’s side because he is single-handedly planting ideas of performing vicious actions, such as slaughtering a Beast when he knows that there is no “Beast,” into the littluns’ heads in order to woo them to his side and away from Ralph’s civilized views.…

    • 858 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    There they are faced with the challenge of survival, dominance, and even murder. These boy are faced answering the questions what will thay have to do to survive and what sacrifices will they have to make. Although some people see Lord of the Flies as a book about boys stranded on an island, Golding actually inserts symbolism partnered with imagery to depict the theme of the dark side of human nature that these boys are forced to tap into.…

    • 925 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays