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How is the conversation between Simon and The Lord of the Flies significant in terms of...

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deea9 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 7, 2009 at 8:56 AM via web

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How is the conversation between Simon and The Lord of the Flies significant in terms of developing a theme in the novel?

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dbrooks22 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted May 7, 2009 at 12:05 PM (Answer #1)

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The conversation Simon has with The Lord of the Flies is significant because not only does it foreshadow Simon’s death but it also reveals what the beast really is. The Lord of the Flies confirms what Simon already knows: that the beast is in each of the boys. The conversation is one-sided, with the beast doing the talking. This symbolizes that eventually the brutal nature of the boys will take control, and there will not be a rational voice to be heard. The fact that Simon merely stares mutely at the beast and is unable to answer represents the boys’ inability to stand up for what is right. Ultimately they will fall under Jack’s violent control and will be unable to stand against him. They are mute against what they know is morally right. At the end of the conversation, Simon is inside the mouth of the beast and falls unconscious. This shows the progression of the theme that evil lies within every person, and if that evil is not confronted, it will consume everything in its path.

Throughout the conversation the beast becomes more agitated and aggressive towards Simon. This symbolizes the progression of violence to come on the island. The mocking tone of the beast as he calls Simon an “ignorant, silly little boy” mirrors the many times that the boys have mocked Piggy and his rational ideas. Progressively, the beast becomes more menacing until finally it states that Simon will die by the hands of Jack, Roger, Maurice, Robert, Bill, and Piggy and Ralph. The order of the names is important because it shows that no one is immune to the power of the beast. Some may be able to resist it to an extent, while others embrace it and use it to their advantage.

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