In Chapter 9 of Lord of the Flies, what does Simon find when he finally reaches the beast?

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After speaking with the Lord of the Flies (the pig's head on the stick) & suffering an epileptic seizure, Simon awakes and asks himself “What else is there to do?” He has had a revelation: he must come face-to-face with the beast, or live in terror forever. This decision drives him up the mountain, where he sees the dead parachutist. Here is the "beast" that so frightened Samneric, & in the corpse Simon recognizes the evil within each human. The description of his encounter is as follows:

The flies had found the figure too. The life-like movement would scare them off for a moment so that they made a dark cloud round the head. Then as the blue material of the parachute collapsed the corpulent figure would bow forward, sighing, and the flies settle once more.

Simon felt his knees smack the rock. He crawled forward and soon he understood. The tangle of lines showed him the mechanics of this parody; he examined the white nasal bones, the teeth, the colors of corruption. He saw how pitilessly the layers of rubber and canvas held together the poor body that should be rotting away. Then the wind blew again and the figure lifted, bowed, and breathed foully at him. Simon knelt on all fours and was sick till his stomach was empty. Then he took the lines in his hands; he freed them from the rocks and the figure from the wind’s indignity.

The fact that "the flies had found the figure" just as they had surrounded the pig's head leads Simon to connect the two instances in his mind. He understands that the beast is not something physical, but instead is an internal evil. The connotation of certain words in this passage ("parody", "poor body", "indignity") suggest that Simon feels sorry for this man who is as much a victim as any of the boys. Yet at the same time, he is as guilty as all of them, in that he participated in war, mush as the boys will participate in savagery & violence. Unfortunately, it is the inability to articulate this concept that will lead to Simon's death.

tyrone123 | Student

 what does Simon find when he finally reaches the beast?

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Lord of the Flies

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