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March 2020

Savagery And The Beast In Lord Of The Flies

The Beast Within

Savagery And The Beast In Lord Of The Flies


“What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?”
William Golding, Lord Of The Flies

      Savagery is found within us all. In Lord Of The Flies, the temporary civilization which the boys form collapses under the weight of the savagery and darkest impulses within them. In the book, the author Golding symbolizes the ‘Beast” as a representation of the savage impulses each boy experiences. Throughout the book savagery arises when the Beast is no longer is suppressed. Characters like Jack thrive on the savagery within them and use fear to lead, yet leaders like Ralph turn towards civilization to think and act responsibly. In the book, Jack and his hunters become true savages when they kill the pig in their hunt for food, but in doing so, surrender to their darkest impulses. 

“His mind was crowded with memories; of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, a knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink.” [Chapter Four, William Golding, Lord Of The Flies]

Dark impulses are within everyone, and in Lord Of The Flies, certain characters explore and reach into their darkest impulses.  For instance, as Ralph says in the book, “Maybe there is a beast... maybe it's only us.” The beast is within everyone — when Jack killed the pig, and when the little and big nuns both chanted “Kill the Pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood.” Fear is power and savagery is a deep instinct in all of us, but savagery is the beast. The deep savagery in us all this theme of savagery in the book governs some but the real strong characters like Simon and Ralph suppress their inner beast. Savagery Is hidden within all of us, but what shows the true character is how you deal with it.