In Lord of the Flies, how does Simon's character change from Chapter 1 to Chapter 9?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Simon goes from being a silly but easygoing boy who keeps the peace between Jack and Ralph to a solitary, reflective, and obsessive hermit.

The first time we saw Simon, he fainted.

Then one of the boys flopped on his face in the sand and the line broke up. (ch 1)

This embarrassed Jack, who said that he’s “always throwing a faint.”  When the boys told their names, Simon “smiled pallidly at Ralph” and told him his name.  When Ralph and Jack decided to go explore, the boys volunteer Simon with a giggle.  Simon goes.

Now that the pallor of his faint was over, he was a skinny, vivid little boy, with a glance coming up from under a hut of straight hair that hung down, black and coarse. (ch 1)

From the beginning, once he was done fainting, Simon was quiet and shy.  When the boys looked at the beauty of the island and Ralph did not know what to say, Simon responded, and “stroked Ralph’s arm shyly” (ch 1).  This seemed to be the right response.  Simon was a quiet peacekeeper from the beginning.  He also seemed aware of things and had ideas before they did.

By chapter 8, Simon is solitary and reflective.  He goes off into the forest to convene with the Lord of the Flies.  He is on a different plane than the others.  Jack splits the group, saying he won’t play with them anymore.  Simon remains with Ralph and Piggy.  He suggests climbing the mountain, the boys respond with derision.  When they realize Simon is gone, they decide, ““He’s cracked.”

This is when Simon goes to convene with the guts, and the Lord of the Flies mesmerizes him.  Always a little different, he is now a Christ-like figure, apart.  When Simon is attacked by boys who think he is the beast, in a tribal fervor, Simon in turn imagines that they are.

 

Simon represents the boys’ conscience, or connection to religion or civilization.  He is the only one that thinks about things on a deeper level.  His death is therefore highly symbolic, because the boys think that he is the beast when really they are.

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