What happens to Simon in Lord of the Flies?

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Simon is the one character in this novel who seems to understand what it is they should all be afraid of--themselves.  It is their own unchecked human nature, their propensity to act selfishly and kill without thinking of the consequences, that is the "beast" on this island. 

Simon is sensitive, and probably because of that he is the one who is able to confront the reality of their island during his "meeting" with the Lord of the Flies.  It is not a beast from the sea or a beast from the air; it is a beast from within.

Once he realizes this horrible yet profound truth, he tries to find the others and tell them of his discovery.  Instead, amid the thunder and lightning and rain of a horrible storm, he inadvertently enters the savage circle and becomes the real-life sacrificial pig in a make-believe game of pig hunt. 

The boys attack him, kill him, and push him down into the ocean, where he finally apparently rests in peace.

There is little peace in Ralph's camp the next morning, as the more conscience-stricken boys are unable to meet each others' eyes and stammer some lame excuses for their inexcusable behavior.  Jack's camp appears to suffer no such pangs of conscience, as evidenced by their casual killing of Piggy soon after Simon's death. 

Simon is a messenger of truth who is not just ignored but is practically martyred for speaking that truth.  His is the first deliberate human death on the island, but it is certainly not the last.

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Lord of the Flies

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