An overarching theme in the novel The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is that fear affects people differently and can divide a group. This is evidenced by the beast, the symbol of fear in the novel manifesting itself in various forms to the littleun’s, Simon, and Ralph.
In a passage in the novel, Simon declares that there may be a beast, and after much arguing and frustration Simon later says that maybe it’s just them. “‘Maybe there is a beast…maybe it’s only us’” (Golding 89). The mention of the beast creates an argument which divides the group and eventually causes Simon to go back and change what he said so that he ends the conflict that he inadvertently created. This passage also shows how people react to fear differently, shown by how one person goes into denial claiming that there is no beast and another person proclaims that the beast is real.
In The Lord of the Flies Simon sees the Lord of the Flies and has visions of the beast in which the beast says that he’s a part of all of them and that he is the only thing that can help them. It says, “There isn’t anyone to help you. Only me. And I’m the Beast. . . . Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! . . . You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are the way they are?” (Golding 143). This once again causes a break in the group which turns the group against Simon because they all think that he is the Beast and leads to the boys killing Simon. This shows that the beast has destroyed the group to the point where the boys are now killing one another. It also brought them all to the point where one of them was willing to murder their peer.
In another passage of the novel, Jack rises above the fear that the beast creates and says, “We’ve got to talk about this fear and decide that there’s nothing in it…that’s nonsense!” (Golding 86). This quote cuts to the point like a knife. Jack avoids the symbolism and says,...