Please explain the following quotes from Lord of the Flies in regards to meaning and theme."Run away said the head silently; go back to the others, it was a joke really..why should you bother? you...

Please explain the following quotes from Lord of the Flies in regards to meaning and theme.

"Run away said the head silently; go back to the others, it was a joke really..why should you bother? you were just wrong,that's all."

Asked on by kaichou

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jseligmann's profile pic

jseligmann | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

Yes, this is but a prelude to Simon's horrific realizations which will come later. We could get all mystical and believe that the head is doing the talking, or we could see the conversation as one that is entirely internal, Simon speaking to Simon.

If this is the case, then, Simon is seeing something for the very first time; he is getting an inkling, a suggestion of an idea that will later grow, deepen and become more central to his being.

Right now, Simon is experiencing the aftermath of violence and death; he is overwhelmed by the sight of the head of death, the blank eyes, the blood, the guts, and the gore. He is not yet ready to understand the implications of it all for himself and for all the others on the island.

Run away, said the head silently, go back to the others. It was a joke really—why should you bother? You were just wrong, that’s all. A little headache, something you ate, perhaps. Go back, child, said the head silently.

It's all too much for Simon to digest at the moment. But he will return, oh yes he will... when his mind is ready to listen to itself.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The pig's head does tell Simon that the beast is in all of them.  I think that the head is referring to Simon's idea that they should climb the mountain to go looking for the beast.  I think it is saying that Simon should go back because the idea to climb the mountain was silly and wrong -- just caused by something he ate.  The head will later tell him that the beast is in them all.  But for right now, it is just telling him that it was silly to want to hunt the beast.

 

mkcapen1's profile pic

mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

In the book Lord of the Flies Simon has been experiencing seizures.  He comes across the boar's head.  It is stuck in the ground on a stick.  Flies are buzzing in and out of its eyes and mouth.  Simon begins to hallucinate thinking the head is talking to him.  They have a conversation.  The beast asks him why he is out in the forest alone.  It tells him that there is no one out there to help him, that he is the best.  It goes on to tell Simon that if Simon runs away and goes to where the other boys are, he will only find "the beast."  He is referring to the boys as the beast. 

When the beast tells him to go back to the others, he is letting Simon know that it is a joke.  The joke is that Simon would only be running to the beast.  The beast is mankind; the beast is there within the boys.  Why should Simon bother to go there when he would still be in the presence of the beast?

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