How does Simon change throughout the the story Lord of the Flies?

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gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Throughout the novel, Simon is viewed as an outcast who is not respected by the other boys on the island. Despite the fact that he is empathetic, sincere, and helpful, the boys tend to dismiss him because they think he is weird. Simon also cannot fully articulate his thoughts when asked about the true nature of the beast and prefers to spend his time alone in the forest. However, Ralph begins to appreciate Simon's presence and warms up to him as the novel progresses. Simon offers words of encouragement to Ralph while they are hunting the beast, and he even volunteers to travel alone through the forest to inform Piggy and the littluns of their plan. After Simon hallucinates in front of the Lord of the Flies, he gains valuable insight into the nature of the beast. Simon learns to follow his intuition and takes matters into his own hands by climbing to the top of the mountain alone. This is a relatively bold mood for a boy who is considered sensitive and weak, but Simon understands that the beast is inherent in each person. Simon changes from being a timid boy and matures into a wise, courageous individual throughout the novel. 

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luannw's profile pic

luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Simon doesn't change so much as he emerges during the course of the story.  He begins as a minor character and by the time of his death in ch. 9, he has become a major character.  When he is introduced in the first chapter, he is one of the choirboys and he "...flopped on his face in the sand..." when Jack had the choir line up.  Jack said this was not an unusual thing for Simon to do, so we know right away that he is different.  Then when he goes into his trances, especially the trance in ch. 8 where Simon converses with the Lord of the Flies, the difference is clear.  Simon is the mystic of the book; he is the one who seems to understand long before anyone else what is going on and why.  He knows that the evil that the boys fear is not an outside presence but it is the evil that is inside each boy.  He dies for this knowledge when he comes running into the boys' circle to share the news and they, in their frenzy, fall upon him and kill him.

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