Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What does Simon discover in the jungle after his seizure in Chapter 9 of Lord of the Flies, and what truth does he realize that he feels he must share with the other boys at camp as soon as possible?

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,312 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Toward the end of chapter 8, Simon hallucinates and speaks to the severed pig's head, which is located in the secluded area in the forest. During Simon's hallucination, he speaks to the Lord of the Flies, who confirms his beliefs regarding the true identity of the beast. The Lord of the Flies tells Simon that the beast is not something he can kill and says that it is the inherent wickedness in each boy on the island. The severed pig's head also tells Simon that there is nothing he can do and urges him to run along and play with the other boys.

In chapter 9, Simon awakens from his seizure and looks at the rotting pig's head in the middle of the secluded area. Simon then decides to climb to the top of the mountain, where the beast supposedly resides. Simon hikes to the top of the mountain and discovers that the beast is actually the rotting corpse of a deceased paratrooper. He then travels back to the beach to inform the boys about his discovery but is severely beaten to death by the bloodthirsty boys, who mistake him for the beast. Tragically, Simon never gets to tell the boys that the beast is actually the remains of a dead paratrooper.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

bullgatortail eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write7,077 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Just before Simon's fit, he hallucinated that the pig's head on the stick was talking to him, but when he awoke he realized it was only a fly-ridden carcass--the Lord of the Flies.

"What else is there to do?"

he asked. But there was no answer. He decided that he must solve the riddle of the beast, so he trudged up the mountain until he saw a "humped thing suddenly sit up on the top and look down at him." He discovers that the feared beast is actually the "corpulent" corpse of a man, entangled in his parachute, its lines tangled on the rocks. Simon must let the other boys know that the beast is not alive; it

was harmless and horrible.

The real beast was the fear within themselves.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial