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Lord of the Flies: What does Simon's line, "You'll get back to where you came from," on...

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georgesimms | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 29, 2009 at 7:56 PM via web

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Lord of the Flies: What does Simon's line, "You'll get back to where you came from," on page 122 foreshadow?

Just out of curiosity why is the above line repeated?

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted December 29, 2009 at 10:07 PM (Answer #1)

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In the book by Golding "Lord of the Flies" Ralph is starting to become frustrated with his new environment and unclean self.  They are on the side of the island that is blocked from any advantage of rescue.  The other side of the island is more compatible for a possible rescue.  Simon senses Ralph's sense of doom and doubt that he will ever be rescued.  In response Simon tells him at first:

"You'll get back to where you came from,"(111)

Ralph watches Simon's face to try and figure out why he had said this to him.  Simon then says:

"All the same. You'll get back all right.  I think so anyway." (111)

Simon again repeats his statement after Ralph rubs his head telling him that he is batty.

The statement foreshadows Ralph's escape from the island in the end of the story, but it also serves to lift Simon up into the "Christ like" figure that he represents.  He identifies the good in Ralph as well as Ralph's abilities.  He is also making a prediction based on Ralph's goodness.

Chapter 11

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 19, 2015 at 9:12 AM (Answer #5)

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In his renowned novel You Can't Go Home, Thomas Wolfe writes

But why had he always felt so strongly the magnetic pull of home, why had he thought so much about it and remembered it with such blazing accuracy, if it did not matter, and if this little town....was not the only home he had on earth? 

Reminiscing about the ponies he used to ride and the order of tea time at home Ralph wishes to escape his malaise about his current state in life. He would like it if he could go home where order and form exist. In an escapist thought, Ralph wonders if on the other side of the island, there could be the dream of rescue. Then, he hears Simon in his ear, "You'll get back to where you came from."

Ralph interprets this statement as meaning that he will get home. But, Simon's implications may not be the same. For, he has seen how Jack is indecisive and manipulative, not commanding. Therefore, instead of going home, Ralph may first "get back to where" he had the respect and control of the boys and, thus, maintain order and discipline, back to where he can lead the boys and focus all efforts upon their being rescued and returned to the "only home [they] had on earth."

The intuitive Simon senses that Ralph will exert efforts to maintain his leadership. And, in Chapter 8, Ralph is again re-established as the leader after Jack challenges him; once defeated, Jack leaves in humiliating tears. 

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mizzbiebs | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 28, 2012 at 2:20 AM (Answer #3)

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It is also foreshadowing that Simon would not be able to go back . :(

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mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted January 18, 2015 at 4:41 PM (Answer #4)

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Simon has an almost second sense about things. He is aware of Ralph's goodness and wants Ralph to keep the faith that he will be rescued from the island. Jack and the other boys have gone off on their own, and Ralph thinks he is not able to keep the boys under control. It seems the island itself is taking some sort of hold on the boys and making them become reckless. 

Simon says the line twice, because he wants to make Ralph realize that he will be rescued. It seems that Simon knows that he won't make it off the island, but he knows without a doubt that Ralph will. The line also represents that Ralph will make it back, even after the things he is about to do. Ralph will eventually have a part in Simon's death, but Simon knows that Ralph will be able to make it back after that. Ralph will struggle with guilt, but he will be one of the few to really be able to leave the island.

The other boys, although they make it off the island, will not all be able to come back. Some of them will still be stuck on that island, even if only in their minds. Simon is aware of the goodness in Ralph and he knows that goodness will overcome anything. Jack and the others will have a harder time coming fully back, if they ever do.

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