How does Piggy's burial contrast with what happens to Simon's body after his death?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 9, Simon is mistaken for the beast when he emerges from the forest. The boys are in the middle of a ceremonial hunting dance, yelling, jumping, and screaming in a frenzy when they spot Simon. The boys rush Simon and begin to beat, bite, scrape, and stab Simon until he is dead. Afterward, Golding depicts Simon's burial as serene and beautiful. As Simon's bloody body lays lifeless on the beach, calm waves crash against it, covering his body in silver sediment. Simon's body is slowly washed out to sea with illuminating creatures surrounding it. Golding's imagery suggests the sea creatures formed a halo around his figure as he is quietly swept into the open sea.

In contrast, Piggy's burial scene is callous and unsympathetic. Golding describes his brutal murder and mentions the discharge and effluents from Piggy's head and body. Golding writes, "Piggy's arms and legs twitched a bit, like a pig's after it has been killed." (181) This is significant because Golding makes a connection to Piggy the person, and pigs the animals. This scene depicts the complete degradation of civility and embrace of barbarism. Humans now act like animals and treat each other as animals. Piggy's death is unsympathetic, much like the death of an animal. Simon's death was glorious and tranquil which is proper for the burial of a Saint. Simon was a "Christ-like figure" throughout the novel, and his burial suggests that he rests peacefully in eternity.

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Lord of the Flies

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