In Chapter Nine of Lord of the Flies, what does Simon discover about the beast, and what does Simon do for the beast?

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mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter 9 of the Lord of the Flies is the chapter that takes the boys from just being boys to being killers. Simon discovers that the so called beast of the island, in really nothing more than the body of a dead airman. His parachute had become tangled and stuck in the trees. Simon cuts the lines of the parachute and allows the body to slip away. He realizes that he has to go and tell the other boys that there is no beast.

In Jack's camp, they are having a fire and a feast. Ralph and Piggy have come, to try to see if Ralph can see what is really going on and try to get control over the boys. They start to chant and dance around the fire. Ralph and Piggy join in slowly, and get caught up in the frenzy that is going on. Simon rushes in, to tell them there is no beast, and Jack and the other boys, in their frenzied state, think that Simon is the beast. Before Simon has a chance to say anything, the boys attack him.

"The beast struggled forward, broke the ring and fell over the steep edge of the rock to the sand by the water. At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore. There were no words and no movements, but the tearing of teeth and claws."

This is the moment when the boys have crossed a line and there is a question to whether they can ever come back from what they have done. Simon represents good, and they have just killed the good on the island. Even Ralph and Piggy had a part in the death of Simon. The boys saw Simon as the beast, when in reality the beast is inside of all them at that moment.

poetrymfa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter Nine of Lord of the Flies, Simon realizes that the "beast" which has been terrorizing the island is actually just the dead body of the airman who had died attempting to parachute to safety during the plane accident. His body is covered with flies and tangled up on some rocks, carving a frightening figure against the skyline. After getting sick at the sight of the man's exposed bones, rotting flesh, and foul stench, Simon vomits. He then untangles the parachute lines from the rocks, setting the body free.

Knowing that the beast is "harmless and horrible," Simon rushes to the boys' encampment to deliver the truth, but is instead violently killed by the boys, who mistake him for the beast. By the end of the chapter, the boys have become murderers, and Simon's body washes "out toward the open sea." 

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Simon knows that he must face the beast in Chapter 9 of Lord of the Rings. He decides to leave his hiding place and climbs the mountain to search for the beast. He discovers that it is not a beast at all: It is the body of a dead airman, whose parachute hangs from a rock. Approaching the body, Simon finds it ridden with flies. After throwing up, he decides to release the lines of the chute, freeing the body from its perch. Soon after, Simon's life will end at the hands of the bloodthirsty boys; and the parachutist, caught in the windstorm, will join Simon's body in the sea.


jaydee12 | Student

Simon discovers that the beast is actually a dead parachutist. He releases the tangles parachute lines and lets the body fly away.

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Lord of the Flies

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