Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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In chapter 9 of Lord of the Flies, we see Simon becoming a martyr for the truth. How is this so?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Simon is depicted as a Christ-like figure in the novel, who is wise, inherently good, and is the only boy who understands the true identity of the beast. After speaking with the Lord of the Flies, which confirms his belief that the beast is the inherent wickedness inside each boy, Simon decides to climb to the top of the mountain to see the terrifying object that has scared Ralph, Jack, and Samneric. Once Simon discovers that the boys have mistaken the corpse of a dead paratrooper for the beast, he climbs down the mountain with the intention of informing the boys about the reality of their situation. When Simon arrives on the beach in the middle of a violent tropical storm in chapter nine, he becomes a martyr for truth when he is mistaken for the beast and brutally murdered by the other boys. Simon desired to inform the boys that there was nothing to fear on the top of the mountain but was savagely beaten to death before he could deliver his message. Simon essentially sacrificed himself and became a martyr while attempting to tell the boys the truth about the beast.

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Golding depicts Simon as a martyr-like figure in chapter nine of Lord of the Flies through Simon's discovery of the true nature of the beast and his tragic death.  When Simon realizes that the horrible hunched figure on the mountain side is nothing more than a dead parachutist, his first thought is to tell the other boys of his tremendous discovery; his good heart and thoughtful concern for others drives him to make his way down the mountain, even though he is weakened by his earlier sick spell and several bouts of vomiting. 

Golding portrays Simon as a character who puts others first before himself, so when the boys mistake Simon for the beast and brutally kill him, Simon's death almost seems sacrificial.  Golding heightens this sacrificial imagery by providing Christ-like imagery of Simon as he drifts away in the surf, with his arms spread out in the moonlight.  Had Simon not been so intent on spreading his message of truth about the nature of the beast, he might have lived. 

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zains | Student

im just joking it didnt

zains | Student

thanks this really helped