What Does The Lord Of The Flies Tell Simon

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The Lord of the Flies, that decrepit pig's head on a stick, reveals the most important truth of the novel to Simon.  Earlier in the novel, Simon wondered that perhaps the beast was only the boys themselves, but this notion proves laughable during the assembly; Simon's fear of speaking in large groups keeps him from providing any further explanation.  When Simon encounters the Lord of the Flies in the jungle, however, the disgusting aberration confirms Simon's beliefs:

"There isn’t anyone to help you. Only me. And I’m the Beast.[...] Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! [...] You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are the way they are?”

In this moment, the Lord of the Flies reinforces the theme of corruption in the novel, suggesting that the boys themselves are responsible for the evil on the island.  Golding uses this scene and a character that epitomizes decay and corruption to bring home his larger issue of "mankind's essential illness" (89).

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