For what reasons does Golding tell us that "The beast was harmless and horrible..." to Simon?For what reasons does Golding tell us that "The beast was harmless and horrible..." to Simon? Do you...

For what reasons does Golding tell us that "The beast was harmless and horrible..." to Simon?

For what reasons does Golding tell us that "The beast was harmless and horrible..." to Simon? Do you think it is true that a person who fully recognizes the evil in man's heart is able to guide others to be released from it? (to what extent?)

Asked on by raman012

1 Answer | Add Yours

lynnebh's profile pic

lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

At this point in the story, I believe Golding tells us that the beast was both harmless and horrible to Simon because it is as this moment that Simon realizes that the beast is not real and so therefore harmless, yet still horrible in the minds of the boys because they fear the beast, even though it is not real. At this point in the story, the other boys do not realize that the beast is not real. Plus, the dead parachutist is horrible in his own right, even though he really is not the beast. When Simon attempts to tell the other boys about his discovery, that the beast is not real, he is killed because they think HE is the beast. After the boys kill Simon, Jack and his followers try to convince themselves that they did kill the beast, not a boy, but they need to be wary because the beast can disguise himself and maybe he is not really dead.

When the boys kill Simon, whose message could have actually freed them from their fear of the beast, I believe Golding is showing that man may be able to recognize evil in the hearts of others but this evil can only be released through supernatural powers, by God if you will. Golding makes use of much Christian symbolism in this novel and he is very pessimistic about humanity. In the Christian world view, man has a sin nature that can only be released by God, so that is why I believe as I do with regard to your question. The fact that none of the other boys, including Piggy and Ralph, recognize Simon (or claim that they do not, in their killing frenzy) shows the true nature of the evil human heart, a heart that allows young boys to kill one of their own. Then, they try to hide it and invent lies to cover it up. Many believe that Simon is a type of Christ figure in this novel and if so, he is bringing a message that could "save" the boys, but like Christ himself, he is rejected along with his message and killed.

What do you think?

We’ve answered 318,915 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question