Please analyze this quote from chapter 9 of Lord of the Flies: "...then the wind blew again and the figure lifted, bowed, and breathed foully at him."

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Like the rotting head of the pig, the Lord of the Flies, the dead figure of the parachutist represents evil; furthermore, as a war pilot, he represents the evils of war to which men bow and are exploited, and the resulting blood, the foulness of rotting war-torn flesh.

In Chapter Nine of The Lord of the Flies, the unconscious Simon is revived by the passage of his blood, and he awakens after his confrontation with the Lord of the Flies on the mountain in order to understand the evil within man. Now, he raises himself with "What else is there to do?" and climbs farther up the mountain to confront further the forces of nature. When he reaches the top, Simon notices a humped figure sitting up that flies are covering. With a sickening feeling, Simon crawls forward in his understanding that this is the rotting body of a man that only rubber and canvas hold together. Simon looks into the rotting face of this man, just as he has done with the rotting face of the beast;

...the wind blew again, and the figure lifted, bowed, and breathed foully at him.

The foul breath of evil emanates from this rotting figure of war, representative of the evil that men commit in the explosive carnage of war. 

Simon has had to look into the faces of the Beast and the parachutist, symbols of the evils of man and his wars, because he is innately peaceful and can only understand the forces of evil when they breathe upon him or speak to him directly. Having confronted this evil face to face, Simon comes down from the mountain, much like Moses with his message that evil is within the hearts of the boys. Instead he becomes a sacrificial victim to the hunters just as the parachutist has been a sacrificial victim to war. 

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Lord of the Flies

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