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What does Simon symbolize in Lord Of The Flies?

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memoland | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 10, 2011 at 3:29 AM via web

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What does Simon symbolize in Lord Of The Flies?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:02 AM (Answer #1)

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Simon symbolizes goodness. He is a gentle-hearted person. He takes the time to feed the littluns. He symbolizes the Christ figure in his goodness. The small children cannot reach the fruit as well as Simon. Simon takes the time to pick the fruit for the littluns:

He kindly helps the younger boys get fruit.

Simon also is supportive of Ralph. He helps Ralph build the shelters when many of the boys would not contribute their time. Also, Simon meditates. He has his own special place on the island where he spends much of his time alone, meditating. He is intuitive by nature. He is the first to realize that the beast is a dead parachutist hanging from a tree. He also realizes that the beast is within man. Earlier, he tried to convey that to the boys but no would listen to him. He represents a Christ-like image in which no one will listen as he tries to share his goodness:

Simon tries to suggest that the only beast on the island is in themselves; however, no one listens.

Later, he has an encounter with the pig's head and realizes that the beast lives within the boys:

The most intuitive of all, he is the first to realize through a vision that the beast is “human at once heroic and sick.”

Rushing to share what he has learned with the boys, he comes out of the forest to meet a angry mob of boys caught up in a hunting dance frenzy. The boys attack Simon and kill him with their bare hands and teeth:

At the height of the party, a storm breaks and Simon arrives to tell them that there is no beast. In a frenzy, they kill Simon.

Simon's death is as a sacrificial death, much like the Christ-like scene before the actual Crucifixion. Simon represents a Christ-like figure. He is a picture of gentle goodness. He is reflective and intuitive. He dies an awful death and his body returns to the sea. His death makes Ralph more aware of the dangers that exist within Jack and his hunters. His death opens Ralph's eyes.

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