Lord of the Flies by William Golding. This essay describes the motif of fear bringing chaos through the focal point of the disappearance of the "birth-mark" littl'un atop the mountain.

Essay by prospectorHigh School, 10th gradeA+, February 2003

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In the course of human evolution, there exist many factors that taint our feeble minds. A perfect example of this is out inner fears of the unknown and it is cleverly portrayed in the words of William Golding, the author of Lord of the Flies.

One section of the novel stuck out like a sore thumb when I first read it and remains true to the spirit of human nature. Here's the scene: As the children stuck on the island realize that they are trapped and isolated from the modern world as they know it, they decide to enhance their chances of survival by creating a rescue signal fire: a symbolism of hope. Up on the mountain though, a little boy, only recognized in the novel by his "mulberry-colored birthmark," questions Ralph, "what you're going to do about the snake-thing." (35) Taken by surprise, Ralph tries to assure the assembly that none exists and it is just a figment of their imagination.

"I tell you, there isn't a beast!" (37) The denial of the situation only subdues the crowd of the little'uns until Piggy notices a missing child amongst the commotion. "That little'un ... him with the mark on his face, I don't see him. Where is he now? ... Him that talked about the snakes. He was down there - "(46) With this, fear explodes and the little shrapnels of the "inevitability bomb" that were produced by the force imbedded themselves into every child on the island with despair.

So what exactly is the significance of the little boy with the birthmark? He never returns later in the novel, so why stick in a new character to the readers for just these few pages? And what exactly happened to him? Was he supposed to signify a greater...