Fear of the unknown essay- Lord of the Flies?
please i need help, im struggling with this essay.
the question is:
How does the theme “fear of the unknown” explain how that theme influences the system of rules and order the boys establish when they arrive on the island, and what happens when the rules disintegrate.
so i have some stuff written down. like the fear of the unknown includes, fear of each other, the parts of the island they have yet to explore, the beastie, and the things they cannot see (the dark)
fear of the unknown greatly influences their rules. its break the boys apart and ruins what civilization they made.
can anybody help? really anything would be helpful at this point! thank you!
From the beginning of the novel, the boys struggle with fear of the unknown. They fear what they cannot see, the parts of the island they haven’t explored, the mysterious beast, and of course, though they may not realize it at first, they fear the damage they may do to one another. All of these have some “unknown” element to them; they can’t see in the dark, they don’t know what’s on the island, they’re unsure of what the beast really is, and they’re ignorant of the depths of their own violent capabilities.
In Lord of the Flies, fear is neutralized by the realization that the only thing the boys have to fear is fear itself.
In Lord of the Flies, fear becomes paralyzing and unbeatable by the realization that the only thing the boys have to fear is fear itself.
In Lord of the Flies, the beast begins as a product of the boys’ imaginations. The smaller boys are afraid of things they see at night; rather than be blindly afraid of The Great Unknown, they give their fear a name and a shape in their minds. You can’t defeat a “nothing,” but you can hunt and kill a “something.”
The next evolution in the myth of the beast is the dead parachuting man. It’s no coincidence that the boys catch a glimpse of a dark, UNKNOWN object and immediately call it the beast; we wouldn’t be surprised if they were relieved to finally have seen the thing. It’s kind of like how the masters of horror films don’t actually show you the horror, because what you can imagine is worse than anything you could see. Of course, it’s interesting that Golding chooses to make this manifestation of the boys’ fear a man — and not just a man, but a solider coming in from the war. Not only that, but the parachuting man flies in, in response to Piggy’s request for a “sign” from the adult world. It’s ironic that the best the adults can come up with is a man dead of their own violence, and it hints at the allegory and the end of the novel.
This is the point where we start getting some real insight into the beast, via Piggy, who says the beast is just fear, and via Simon, who insists that the beast is “only us.” This is an interesting comment, since the beast is literally “only us:” it’s a person that fell from the sky. In fact, when the twins list off the horrible attributes of the creature they saw, they reveal that it has both “teeth” and “eyes.” Yes, that’s right, most people have teeth and eyes. So Simon is correct in more ways than just one. Even more interesting yet is the moment when Ralph and Jack discover the dead man and think of it as a “giant ape.” What have the boys started to prove except that man is nothing more than a giant ape himself?
But while the beast is in fact literally a man, that’s not what Simon means when he says that it is “only us.” He’s talking about the beast being the darkness that is inside each and every one of us. If this is true, then, as the Lord of the Flies later suggests, it is absurd to think that the beast is something “you could hunt and kill.” If it’s inside all of us, not only can’t we hunt it, but we can never see it, never give it form, and never defeat it.
When Simon has his meditation-scene with the pig’s head, the Lord of the Flies says to him, “I’m the beast.” This makes his other words literally true; you can’t hunt and kill the beast, because they’ve already hunted and killed the pig and it’s still talking to you. Even later, when Ralph smashes the skull, he only widens its smile, “now six feet across” as it lies “grinning at the sky.” This thing just won’t die, and it torments Ralph so much because it “knows all the answers and won’t tell.”
Now to Ralph, that’s a rather silent devilish pig’s head, given that four chapters earlier it was talking with Simon. It seems that the Lord of the Flies gave over its knowledge to Simon, but only to Simon. In his death, then, Simon took that wisdom with him. What wisdom are we talking about? Simon already knew, it seems, that the beast was simply the darkness of man’s heart, but the talking pig’s head actually confirms it, telling him “I’m part of you […] close, close close.”