What happens simultaneously with the death of Simon in Lord of the Flies?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is a big storm over the island simultaneously with the death of Simon. The storm serves both as a symbol of the darkness and turbulence to which the boys have descended, and a catalyst in making the mayhem happen. The hunters, looking up at the darkening sky, first experience "a wave of restlessness," and then the emotions of the little'uns, the most vulnerable, are whipped to a frenzy as the thunder and lightning increase. Jack, seeking to direct the energies of his hunters, leads them in a dance and chant, which begins to "beat like a steady pulse." At this point,

"The dark sky (is) shattered by a blue-white scar, (and) an instant later the noise (of the thunder is) on them like the blow of a gigantic whip...(their) terror (and)...another desire (rise), thick, urgent, blind."

Another bolt of lightning strikes, and Simon comes out of the forest, right into the midst of the hunters, who have been stimulated to a killing frenzy. Because of the noise of the storm and the excitement and terror generated by it, no one can hear Simon's exclamations about the dead man on the hill, and without fully realizing the ramifications of their actions, the hunters act on sheer instinct and momentum, savagely killing Simon. As they leap onto him,

"scream(ing), (striking), bit(ing), (tearing), there (are) no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws."

As Simon dies, the clouds open and a torrent of rain descends on the scene, and a "great wind" blows the parachute with the dead pilot off the hill where Simon had found him, carrying it over the terrified boys and out to the sea. The storm is symbolic of the violent depths of depravity to which the boys have descended. The scene created by the storm is indicative of darkest and ultimate chaos, leaving the impression of a hell on earth (Chapter 9).

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Lord of the Flies

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