What figurative language describes Simon in The Lord of the Flies?

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aleabalck eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Figurative language is plentiful in William Golding's novel The Lord of the Flies. Simon's role as the book's moral compass is especially prominent in the personification, imagery, and metaphors Golding assigns to both descriptions of and dialogue spoken by Simon. Perhaps the most striking examples of figurative language in Simon's plot line are in Chapter 8, as this portion of the novel details Simon's chilling separation from the boys.

Personification: The boys have another meeting early in Chapter 8. In an attempt to offer advice, Simon takes the conch, but "the pressure of the assembly took [Simon's] voice away." By personifying the animosity of the boys toward Simon, Golding emphasizes Simon's separation from the violence that characterizes the group. 

Imagery: Later in Chapter 8, after Simon has wandered to where the Lord of the Flies sits, he begins to become affected by the heat. The imagery that "in Simon's right temple, a pulse began to beat on the brain" hints at the later intensity of his hallucinations. Later descriptions of Simon's physical covering by the flies is similarly abundant with vivid imagery.

Metaphor: At the end of Chapter 8, Simon's hallucinations become more severe. In the final lines of the chapter Simon is said to move "inside the mouth" of the Lord of the Flies. This metaphor that Simon was overtaken and is now "inside" the Pig's "mouth" shows readers that Simon is from this point on removed from the natural world of the boys on the island and cannot return. 


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Lord of the Flies

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