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“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us” (Golding, 89). In the novel ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding, a group of schoolboys fights to the death to escape their fear of themselves. Golding uses the scene where Simon is murdered to show how fear can dehumanize a man. Throughout the novel fear becomes a much bigger idea than just being frightened, by the savage acts of schoolboys.

In this scene, Piggy and Ralph are given the choice to stay good or become evil, and they both choose evil: “Piggy and Ralph, under the threat of the sky, found themselves eager to take a place in this demented but partly secure society” (Golding, 153). The two boys are so caught up in the excitement that they join the reenactment and dance along with the others. This reveals that the amount of civilization and order left is so slim that even Piggy and Ralph join. Suddenly, the boys see Simon, described as a dark figure, crawl out of the forest. Caught up in the madness, they do not recognize him. The boys become scared, “The littluns screamed and blundered about, fleeing from the edge of the forest” (Golding, 153). Through this quote, Golding reveals that even the littluns were participating in the hunting reenactment. The littluns went from representing the weakest in society to being the definition of savage. At this point, the goodness and innocence left on the island are extremely little.

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Golding’s diction of Simon’s death reveals that there is a little amount of civilization left. He uses words to describe Simon coming out of the forest, such as “a thing” and “darkly” (Golding, 152). The words Golding uses give Simon a more beast-like appearance and make the reader believe he is actually a creature crawling out of the forest. It also gives Simon a creepier and eerie feel while reading. Golding takes away the beauty and calmness of the sea when he says: “Softly, surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon’s dead body moved out toward the open sea” (Golding, 154). The ocean is now given a sense of darkness because Simon’s dead corpse was swept away in it. The boys are frightened of what they have done and flee into the woods.

At the beginning of this scene, the boys are reenacting the killing of the pig by dancing and chanting: “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!” (Golding, 152-153). The boys repeat this chant numerous amount of times. In the middle of it all, Simon begins to crawl out of the forest, and the boys in their frenzy state of mind don’t recognize him. Chanting and dancing put them into the mindset of a frenzy, and the fear of the beast combined with this led to complete savagery. Throughout this scene, Golding repeats the idea of how Simon is seen as a beast. “…before the beast …The beast was on its knees…The beast struggled forward…leapt on to the beast…only the beast lay still…” (Golding, 152). Golding represents the idea of the beast many times. The boys do not realize it is Simon until the day after, and Ralph is the only one willing to take responsibility.

William Golding uses the scene where Simon is murdered to show how fear can dehumanize a man. Throughout this novel, Golding echoes the idea that everyone has an inner beast and that all humans are inherently evil. He uses Simon’s death to represent that fear is much more than being frightened.

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