How is Simon's death ironic in the novel Lord of the Flies?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the novel Lord of the Flies, Simon's death is ironic because he was attempting to tell the other boys that the beast did not exist, but the boys mistook him for the beast. This is a classic example of dramatic irony because the audience is aware of Simon's knowledge, while the characters are not. Simon had listened to the Lord of the Flies explain to him that the beast was inside of each child, and witnessed the dead paratrooper on the top of the mountain. Armed with this information, he exits the forest and attempts to tell the boys the truth about the beast. The boys, who are engaged in their tribal hunting dance, spot Simon walking out of the forest and mistake him for the beast. They attack Simon and begin stabbing, biting, clawing, and beating him like savages. While Simon is being attacked, he attempts to tell them there is a body on the hill. The boys pay no attention to his comments and beat him to death. The very person who understands the identity of the beast, is mistaken for it, which is ironic.

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Lord of the Flies

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