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

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

Start Free Trial

Give 5 quotes of Simon being a Christ-like figure. 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When trying to determine whether a literary character is a "Christ-figure," it is not necessary to find a complete parallel between that character and the person of Jesus Christ. An author may try to portray a character as a realistic person, yet that person will have certain qualities, perform certain actions, or be treated in certain ways that will be reminiscent of the life of Christ. Simon in Lord of the Flies meets the qualification for a Christ-figure in the following ways:

1. Other characters misunderstand him and consider him odd. Repeatedly in the story characters call Simon "batty" either to his face or behind his back. In chapter 3, when Simon is missing, Ralph says to Jack, "He's queer. He's funny." 

2. The character is sensitive or sympathetic to the underprivileged. Simon is the only one who helps Ralph build the third shelter; as Ralph says to Jack, "Simon. He helps. ... He's always about." Speaking of the littluns, Golding says,

"Simon found for them the fruit they could not reach, pulled off the choicest from up in the foliage, passed them back down to the endless, outstretched hands."

3. He often sees a truth no one else understands. When the boys are discussing the beast, Simon says, "maybe it's only us," which causes the boys to scorn him. 

4. The character has a conversation with a tempter, a devil, that tries to dissuade him from his mission. Simon has the vision and conversation with the Lord of the Flies, who taunts him. The "Beast" says to him,

"I'm warning you. I'm going to get angry. D'you see? You're not wanted. Understand? We are going to have fun on this island. Understand?"

5. Finally, and probably most importantly, the character dies unjustly. Simon is murdered by a crazed mob who shout, "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" just like the angry mob shouted, "Crucify him!" in Jesus' case. Golding also brings in imagery related to the crucifixion when he writes that "Simon was crying out something about a dead man on a hill" and describes the "first of the stains that seeped from the broken body." 

The handout available at the link below gives more suggestions for identifying Christ-figures, many of which also apply to Simon.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team