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What's Simon's theory of beast, whats he trying to communicate to the group and how...

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lie123 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 13, 2010 at 12:35 PM via web

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What's Simon's theory of beast, whats he trying to communicate to the group and how well does he express what he thinks, and how do others react?

Quote evidence is there of there of the deterioration of democratic rule.

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jseligmann | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted February 13, 2010 at 2:40 PM (Answer #1)

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While the boys discuss the possible existence of a beast, Simon summons his courage and speaks:

“What I mean is. . . maybe it’s only us...”

“...We could be sort of. . . ”

Simon became inarticulate in his effort to express mankind’s essential illness. Inspiration came to him.

“What’s the dirtiest thing there is?”

Mankind's essential illness ... the dirtiest thing there is. Jack says a dirty word and everyone cracks up. Simon's idea is lost amidst the release of tension and the laughter.

Simon sees what the others don't see, is beginning to know what the others will know too late. He will look at it face to face and it will talk to him from within. It will swarm with flies and make him ill... essentially ill.

We fear death and so we kill, as if in killing we can vanquish death itself. The dirtiest thing is the worst in us: the lust for power over fear and over death ... the need to kill for the sake of killing.

No one hears this, but they will.


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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 13, 2010 at 12:42 PM (Answer #2)

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Simon's theory about the beast is that there really is a beast.  But it is not a physical beast out there in the world.  Instead, it is the evil that is inside of them all -- inside of all people.

But the problem is that he cannot get this across to the group.  When he tries to explain it to them, he asks them to think of what the dirtiest thing in the world is.  When he does that, Jack says something vulgar -- we are not told exactly what, but it seems fairly obvious that he is referring to feces.

Once Jack says this, all the kids laugh and laugh and Simon has no chance to get his point across.

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted February 13, 2010 at 6:44 PM (Answer #3)

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In the novel 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding, Simon is the intuitive character - some readers and critics have likened him to a Christ-like figure. The trouble is that Simon is still very young, and even though he shows more maturity than the others, his devloping sense of morality is still very fragile. Christ also was articulate and a great teacher - Simon's youth makes it difficult for him to articulate his concepts. He is trying to say that 'the bestial concept' they all fear is a primeval human drive that can be surmounted by will and noble aspirations. Jack then goes on to demonstrate this very primeval drive with vulgar humor of the lowest kind. The spark of Simon's illumination is snuffed out. The tying up of victims without trial on Jack's orders shows the implementation of non-democratic rule.

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