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What does Simon symbolize throughout Lord of the Flies?

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willy94 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 10, 2008 at 9:17 AM via web

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What does Simon symbolize throughout Lord of the Flies?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 10, 2008 at 11:31 AM (Answer #1)

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Before Ralph calls his assembly in the evening in Chapter 5 of "The Lord of the Flies," he "adjusts his values" and reflects,

Piggy could think.  He could go step by step inside that fat head of his...

If Piggy who stands outside "the triangle" at the assembly is the voice of logic, Simon, who is the first to recognize that the beast "is human," is the most intuitive and pure of the boys.  He is the heart of the group, as well.  When Piggy does not get any of the crabmeat in Chapter 4, Simon generously shoves his piece over to Piggy. Earlier he retrieves Piggy's glasses after Jack smacks Piggy's head. It is Simon who recognizes the evil inherent in the boys:

...maybe there is a beast....What I mean is...maybe it's only us....We could be sort of....

But, his "effort fell about him in ruins; the laughter beat him cruelly...." and he, too, stands "outside the triangle," as the boys refuse to understand the import of Simon's words.  Instead, the "evil that men do," as Shakespeare wrote, crushes the goodness in the person of Simon; the hunters kill him, chanting "kill the beast" when the beast is really within themselves.  As Simon's murdered body washes to sea, it glows with a phosphorescent light as though the soul of man has departed from the island.

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jbrookes0987 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 17, 2008 at 11:40 AM (Answer #2)

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Because Simon symbolizes the recognition between good and evil, it also important to recognize the murder of Simon as a symbol. As the boys savagely murder Simon they are also killing what he represents; which, once again is the recognition of good and evil. Simon also represents the purity and goodness of humanity. Once Simon is dead all evidence of good is slain with him. With Simon slain the boundry between good and evil disingrates as his bloody body is washed out to sea. Thus, descending the island into pure evil, which brings about chaos and destruction. 

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theidealizedworld | Student | eNoter

Posted June 2, 2012 at 5:22 PM (Answer #3)

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Simon represents the "Christ figure" in Lord of the Flies. Throughout the book, we see that he has a kind heart, and is the purest of the boys. He does not stand on the spectrum with Jack (savagery) on one end, and Ralph (civilization) on the other end. He stands outside of the spectrum, so he is able to see where the evil is coming from; the inside of the boys. Looking at this, we also see that Simon represents the recognition of good and evil (mainly evil). Simon is the one who finds out that the beast does not exist, and is the one who finds out that evil lives among all the boys. When Simon is killed, and washed out into the sea, his purity is washed away with him, and the only thing left on the island is the boys' evil instincts.

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maria-vivanco | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted February 1, 2014 at 2:47 AM (Answer #4)

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i feel like simon symbolizes civilization.  hate him is because he reminds him of they were. he was the only one who stayed sane and was killed. Simon seems to symbolize civilization because he always tries to follow Ralph's rules about the rescue and doesn't listen to the pigs head ( The Lord of flies. his role in the group is the peacekeeper even when there is chaos.

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