In Lord of the Flies, what is the joke that the pig's head refers to & what is Simon 'wrong' about when the pig's head says 'You were just wrong, that's all'? (chap. 8)"A gift for the beast....

In Lord of the Flies, what is the joke that the pig's head refers to & what is Simon 'wrong' about when the pig's head says 'You were just wrong, that's all'? (chap. 8)

"A gift for the beast. Might not the beast come for it? The head, he thought, appeared to agree with him. Run away, said the head silently, go back to the others. It was a joke really - why should you bother? You were just wrong, that's all. A little headache, something you ate, perhaps. Go back, child, said the head silently."

 

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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This is definitely a tricky passage, because the reader must decipher between the conversation between Simon and the pig's head occurs completely within Simon's own thoughts.  When the head silently says "It was a joke really--why should you bother?," Simon is justifying the other boys' actions and his own to himself.  He seems upset about the "indignity" of the head on a stick, that the other boys defiled nature that way, so he excuses their behavior by saying it was just a joke, that it did not really mean anything. 

Simon considers the head on a stick, wondering if the beast might come back for it, and he recalls his original idea-- the concept of the beast being within the boys themselves; this is the thought that he wonders if he was wrong about.  Later, in his conversation with the Lord of the Flies, the pig's head will confirm that Simon was correct, not wrong, but all the jungle seems to laugh mockingly at him, as if the Lord of the Flies realizes that Simon's epiphany has come too late to save him or any of the other boys. 

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