The Nature of The Beast

By: Rachana Mallavarapu, Nusaiba Mizan, and Nishi Patel

Overview: The Beast

What is the beast?

-The Beast is an inescapable, fearsome, animal produced from the figments of imagination of the survival group stranded on a mysterious, mystical island.

This beast has many forms that change over time as different circumstances grip the young boys. Each one has different results with the boys, eventually leading to extreme fear, break up of the group, and homicidal tendencies.

Description Quotes

Quote 1:

"' He says he saw the beastie. It came and went away again an' came back and wanted to eat him.'" (Golding 36)

  • This is the first time the beast is mentioned. The boy with the mulberry mark on his face believes the beast to be snake like and dangerous. This makes the boys wary of the forest from which the beast supposedly came.

Quote 2:

"' of a thing, a dark thing, a beast, some sort of animal.'" (Golding 83)

  • Here the beast has become something more realistic, enough to a point where the boys are beginning to fear it.

Quote 3:

"' The beast had teeth,' said Ralph, "and big black eyes.' He shuddered violently." (Golding 124)

  • Here, the beast is a very real possibility, enough that when Ralph gives only its description, ripples of fear spread around the group.

Fear Quotes

Quote 4:

"Ralph turned involuntarily, a black humped figure against the lagoon. the assembly looked with him, considered the vast stretches of water , the high sea beyond, unknown indigo of infinite possibility, hear silently the sough and whisper from the reef." (Golding 88)

  • In this passage, the boys are looking beyond the lagoon into the sea, in which they see the possibility of a beast existing. They realize and discuss how much of the sea has yet to be discovered, how the possibilities of beasts and monsters are quite real indeed.

Quote 5:

Soon the darkness was full of claws, full of the awful unknown and menace." (Golding 99)

  • This quote only serves to amplify the fear and danger that the boys feel exists in the forest, They have realized that the beast exists, and they have begun to conjure things from their own imaginations.

Influence of the Fear Quotes

Quote 6:

"He moved the conch gently, looking beyond them at nothing, remembering the beastie, the snake, the fire, the talk of fear, " (Golding 82)

  • This passage is during the time that Ralph is giving a speech about all that needs to be done in their little survival group. Mention of this beast makes the other boys uncomfortable, scared, and more willing to hold the hand of Jack, who soon announces that if the beast arrives, he will vanquish it.

Quote 7:

"' We're going to forget about the beast.' 'That's right!' 'Yes!' 'Forget the beast!'" (Golding 133)

  • This quote occurs when the new leader, Jack has been chosen. He announces that the beast is irrelevant and something that should be forgotten because all it does is bring fear into the group. This new idea sets the stability of the group.

Activity: The Beast in All of Us

Discussion Questions

1.The Beast causes the group of boys to make many rash and thoughtless decisions, has any fear caused you to act without thinking?

2. During the novel, the beast changed from an object of fear to an object of control, give other examples of other instances where this also occurs?

3. The beast also creates unity in the group, why do you think that is?

4. Later in the novel, the beast even becomes an object of worship, why do you think the boys worship what they fear? And is there a real world example of this?

5. What could have allowed the boys to conquer their fears of the beast without hurting others?