Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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What are some quotes (including chapter/page number) from Simon in Lord of the Flies that really summarize who he is?

Quotes from Simon in Lord of the Flies that summarize who he is include "You'll get back where you came from" and "Maybe there is a beast. Maybe it's only us."

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Simon is an introspective, quiet, and kind character in Lord of the Flies. His kindness is apparent when he reaches up to pick fruit for the smaller children and when he goes down the slope to fetch Piggy's glasses after Jack knocks them off. It is one of the tragedies of the book that the group murder him, and just after he finds out the beast is in fact a part of them.

On page 137, in the chapter "Shadows and Tall Trees," Simon tells Ralph, "You'll get back all right. I think so, anyway." As Ralph contemplates later on in the novel, Simon says "you" and not "we." It is as if he knows that he is destined to die.

On page 110, in the chapter "Beast From Water," Simon says, "Maybe there is a beast. Maybe it's only us." He is intelligently suggesting that if there is a beast, the beast is inside each one of them, and if they are not careful, they will release it and cause havoc. It is another prophetic statement from a character who is at times almost Christ-like in his behavior.

On page 35, in the chapter "The Sound of the Shell," in reply to Ralph wondering where they could get paper to make maps, Simon suggests, "We could make scratches on bark ... and rub black stuff in." Simon doesn't speak much, or even do much, but when he does, it makes a difference.

On page 106, in the chapter "Beast from Water," Simon is caught creeping around in the dark. He tells them, "I wanted—to go to a place—a place I know." This shows that Simon is the one true individual of the group who can think for himself. Little of what he says and does has an ulterior motive, and that is why he is so worth listening to.

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In Chapter Eight, when Piggy argues that there is no sense in climbing the mountain to the "beast" when Ralph and the others could do nothing, Simon whispers,

"What else is there to do?"

This simple question by Simon suggests that the boys must be in control of their own destinies and not allow the forces from without and within to control them.  Also, this again is an example of Simon's attempts to be supportive.

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Simon is a spiritual figure, and in chapter seven he tells Ralph:

"You'll get back where you came from."

When Ralph is puzzled by this pronouncement, Simon says:

"I just think that you'll get back all right."

This is an important moment because it foreshadows both that Ralph will be able to go home one day and that Simon will not. We aren't sure how Simon knows such a thing, but we believe him--or at least want to believe him. We probably pay less attention to this a foreshadowing of Simon's eventual death, but clearly it is since he says "we" rather than "I."

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Wow, this is a hard one simply because Simon doesn't say much.  However, a point can be made that when Simon DOES speak, it is important and with conviction.  The irony is, the Lord of the Flies is about a big, savage group of boys, ... and Simon has trouble speaking in front of a group, ... especially THIS group.  Ha!  Still,  there is something telling in the following two quotes, both from Chapter 5:

"Maybe," he said hesitantly, "maybe there is a beast." "I don't know," said Simon. His heartbeats were choking him. "But,"

Simon grabbed the conch convulsively. "I wanted--to go to a place--a place I know." "What place?" "Just a place I know. A place in the jungle."

It is Simon's hesitation here that shows his goodness.  It's Simon's hesitation that shows he is different from the other boys.  Simon, therefore, cannot live.  In a world of savagery, innocence and goodness and hesitation and value cannot survive.

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Rather than one quote, I think everything Simon says should be looked at carefully.  He is our window to the soul of the island.  Simon is the instrospective one.  He is the only one that seems to think about what is happening.

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Golding’s Lord of the Flies is an allegorical novel where the main characters represent certain groups of people in a society.  Ralph, for example, epitomizes the fair and democratic leaders who are not easily corrupted by power. Simon represents the mystics and clairvoyants in a society who are often misunderstood and scorned despite their truths. Golding himself stated that he intended to create Simon as a Christ-figure within the story.


With all this being said, Simon doesn’t speak much throughout the course of the play. However, when he does speak, his words are prophetic and wise in ways that make the others uncomfortable. Perhaps one of Simon’s most iconic phrases occurs in Chapter 5 when the boys discuss the possibility of a beast. In the midst of the chaos, Simon steps forward and says, “Maybe it’s only us.” Here he demonstrates wisdom beyond his years; he is the only boy to realize that the real beast lies within each of them. The others, unable to understand Simon’s astute answer, simply respond with shouts of “Nuts!”


Another instance of Simon’s prophetic nature is found in Chapter 7 as he talks with Ralph, who is losing hope of ever being rescued. Several times Simon tells Ralph, “you’ll get back all right.” Later we find out that Simon’s prophecy has come true; Ralph and the others are saved, but Simon himself is not.


These are just two examples of quotes that give insight into the character of Simon. In addition to being clairvoyant, Simon is one of the few sensitive and gentle characters in the story. Perhaps you can find other quotations that exemplify his gentle and caring nature to further support the complexity of this character.


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