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How does Simon's epilepsy relate to symbolism in "Lord of the Flies"?

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beemoody | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 8, 2008 at 5:36 AM via web

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How does Simon's epilepsy relate to symbolism in "Lord of the Flies"?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 8, 2008 at 12:01 PM (Answer #1)

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Epilepsy was once thought of as a curse or as a condition that gave one prophetic power. Simon's disease separates him from the other boys and helps him represent the spiritual side of goodness and kindness. He stands in stark contrast to Jack, who symbolizes the evil side of mankind. Simon's violent death, which occurs when he tries to bring the truth about "the beast" to the rest the boys, adds to both the Biblical motifs of the story and the idea that mankind often rejects the truth about its own evil nature. "The beast" is, after all, only a human and Simon states asks early in the novel if "maybe the beast is us." This helps symbolize the darkness in the nature of mankind.

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