Importance of Fear in The Lord of the Flies Essay

Good Essays

Importance of Fear in The Lord of the Flies

The boys in the book, The Lord of the Flies, are controlled by their fear of the beast. This fear is not of the beast itself, but of the unknown. It comes from not knowing whether or not a beast exists.

The children start as one united group. They are a community in their own. Slowly, rules started to get broken, individuals began to leave, and the group broke apart. The one thing that causes this break-up is the beast. The beast means different things to everyone, but each boy is afraid of it.

All of this fear starts at one of the very first assemblies when a littlun says that he saw a beastie in the forest. "Now he says it was a beastie" …show more content…


The two older boys flinched when they heard the shameful

syllable" (52).

This reminds Jack and Ralph that there is a chance that the beast is real and there may be reason for all the fear. It also reveals that Simon's character is very much in touch with reality. He is not trying to push the fact that a beast could be on the island away from him. He is trying to deal with his fear and show the others that they can and should deal with theirs.

Ralph's concern for the littluns leads him to call an assembly to "decide on fear" (82). This assembly on fear is an essential part of the story. Ralph wants to discuss the fear of the beastie, and whether there is reason to be afraid of a beast that may not exist. He then proceeds to make this speech:

"We've got to talk about this fear and decide there's nothing in it. I'm frightened myself, sometimes; only that's nonsense! Like bogies. Then, when we've decided, we can start again and be careful about things like the fire" (82).

The purpose of this speech is to comfort the other boys and eliminate the fear. He wants them to turn their focus away from fear towards the fire and rescue.

After Ralph puts the conch down Jack snatches it up and starts blaming the littluns for all the fear, saying that they brought it upon themselves by believing in the beast. Jack is angry about the

Get Access
Get Access