Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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Consider Lord of the Flies as a religious parable on the forces of good and evil. How does Golding weave religious imagery and symbolism into his story?

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Golding weaves religious imagery into his story through two most significant means: the character Simon, and the Lord of the Flies.

The character Simon is situated as the Christ-figure. If you watch Simon's character from the beginning, he is much like the character of Christ. Christ came into the world in a way that at the time caused little notice. He gave of himself for others throughout his life. Only near the end, in his last 3 years, did he communicate his message. It happened to fall on many more deaf ears than those that heard. In Simon's life, he spent time helping making the huts, joining in on the walks of Ralph and Jack, and being a servant when the opportunity arose. But we hardly see this because we are focused on the plot. As Simon's momentous chapter arises and he faces the Lord of the Flies, we see that character of Christ again. Christ went and spent time with Satan for 40 days being tempted. The Lord of the Flies taunted Simon just like Satan did to Christ:

“What are you doing out here all alone? Aren’t you afraid of me?”

Simon shook.

“There isn’t anyone to help you. Only me. And I’m the Beast.”

Simon’s mouth labored, brought forth audible words. (Chapter 8)

Christ also lost his life after crucified and spent 3 days in hell. Simon's siezure at the mouth of the Lord of the Flies is like that event of Christ's crucifixion. Simon's efforts to spread his message of hope to the others is similar to Christ's efforts to save mankind.

The beast was harmless and horrible; and the newsmust reach the others as soon as possible. (Chapter 9)

Simon defeated the beast figuratively.

Both deaths were inevitable. Both were murdered by those who they tried to save.

In chapter 8, Simon specifically leaves the boys like Christ left his disciples to pray just before he knew he was going to be crucified.

“Where’s Simon?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t think he’s climbing the mountain?” Piggy broke into noisy laughter and took more fruit.

The dead man in the parachute that scares the boys as the beast also appears as a Christ figure on the cross when described.

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