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

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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How do Simon's and Jack's views of the island differ in Lord of the Flies?

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Simon respects and appreciates the island for itself. He sees it as a place of great natural beauty; a place of peace and repose. Probably for the first time in his life, Simon's found a place where he can feel at home, at one with his immediate surroundings. A gentle, unassertive soul, Simon is very much a child of nature, and blends right into the natural environment in a way that sets him even further apart from the other boys.

Jack, on the other hand, sees things differently. For him, the island is just an object; something to be explored, controlled, and exploited for its natural resources. His attitude towards nature is one of disrespect; he regards it as having no innate value. It exists purely to serve man's needs, to be bent towards his will. Jack sees the island as a means to an end, whether it's the killing of pigs or the killing of Piggy. All that matters is that it provides him with the resources necessary to grab, maintain, and consolidate absolute power over the other boys.

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InLord of the Fliesby William Golding, Simon's view of the island sharply contrasts with that of Jack's.  In chapter three, Simon ventures into the forest and is mesmerized by its verdant beauty and wildlife.  With an innate goodness that helps him connect with the nature, Simon sees the island as a thing of beauty, deserving of respect.

On the other hand, power-hungry Jack views the island as something to be conquered.  As Jack's savagery deepens, so does his thirst for violence and bloodshed.  Jack leads his hunters on killing parties, hunting for wild pigs; it is this love of violence combined with his power over the other boys that culminates in the slaughter of the first pig.  With the killing of that pig, Jack  feels power over the life-force of the island as well.  Jack perceives the island only as a threat to his superiority, a force to be subjugated under his will.

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