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In Chapter 9, why is Simon’s dead body being carried out to sea a type of...

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catey-hoehn | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 25, 2012 at 2:35 AM via web

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In Chapter 9, why is Simon’s dead body being carried out to sea a type of glorification?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 25, 2012 at 10:43 AM (Answer #1)

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Water is the ultimate cleansing agent so its symbolism here is two-fold. Glorification has a Christian connection and water has always played a large part in Christianity. Simon was almost 'sacrificed' and ironically, the sea, a natural resource, can be both forgiving and vengeful. Water brings relief but also destruction.

Rescue will come from the sea but will not give Ralph the relief he anticipated. Things will never be the same. 

Refer to the Summary and Analysis pages of enotes and navigate to Chapter 9 where you can read about and understand the significance. The writer suggests that

the great violent natural tendencies of humans are due to a flaw inherent in man’s character, a flaw planted naturally, and from which there is no civilized escape

So the glorification aspect brings a contrast to the otherwise brutal and barbaric circumstances in which the boys find themselves.

The glorification could also be interpreted as, from the boys' perspective, a cleansing for them of their wrongdoing; much like Jesus cleansing the thieves and robbers of his day - usually with water.  In baptism, sins are forgiven.  

 

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