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The Defeat of Civilization in William Golding´s Lord of the Flies

Decent Essays
In Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, the Beast singlehandedly removes civilization from the island. At first, the Beast is only perceived as a minor fear, however, by the end of the book, it is perceived as an idol. The Beast is first introduced as a figment of the boys’ imagination, but further develops into a legitimate creature—by the boys—later on. By the end, the Beast becomes an actual G-d that the boys worship by offering sacrifices to it, symbolizing the substitution of civilization with savagery by the boys. Paragraph 1- When the Beast is first introduced, it symbolizes a growing fear that is present in all the boys, and exhibits the potential for savagery that exists in every individual. In the beginning, the majority of the boys burst into “laughter and cheers” when the Beast is first introduced as “the snake-thing” (35). The fact that the boys were laughing exhibits the civil behavior that initially lies within the group. As the story progresses, the Beast starts to become a growing concern to the boys as Ralph notes that “things are breaking up. I don't understand why. We began well; we were happy. And then—. Then people started getting frightened [of the beast]” (88-89). The boys’ fear of the Beast begins to separate them from civilization and exhibits the original loss of the boys’ civil behavior. Soon after, the boys—as a whole—start to suppose that “maybe there is a beast [living on the island]” (95). Their consideration of the Beast’s existence
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