Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding
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What is the most important event in chapter 9 of Lord of the Flies?

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Simon's brutal death is by far the most significant event that takes place in chapter 9 of Lord of the Flies. In the story, Simon is depicted as a symbolic Christ-figure, who embodies goodness and wisdom. Unlike the other boys on the island, only Simon recognizes the genuine identity of the beast. Simon understands that the beast is not a tangible creature and is actually the inherent wickedness inside each boy. At the beginning of chapter 9, Simon climbs to the top of the mountain and discovers that the beast is the corpse of a dead paratrooper. Following his discovery, Simon travels back down the mountain to inform the boys of his significant finding.

Unfortunately, the boys are in a frenzied state on the beach as Jack leads them in a ritual dance while it begins to violently storm. When Simon runs out onto the beach, the boys mistake him for the beast and proceed to viciously attack him. Ralph, Piggy, and Samneric even participate in the chaotic event as the boys brutally murder Simon. After Simon is murdered, his lifeless corpse peacefully floats out to sea. Simon's brutal murder is the turning point in the story and the moment when all hope of civility is lost. By murdering Simon, the boys have completely transformed into ruthless savages, and anarchy reigns supreme. Simon's murder also underscores Golding's primary theme regarding the inherent wickedness of mankind.

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