What is the significant meaning to the two killed in the Lord of the Flies?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Willaim Golding's Lord of the Flies, the deaths of two of the boys killed by the hunters signals the end of both spirituality and reason; these boys are Simon and Piggy, respectively. For, it is Simon who offers emotional support to Ralph by helping build the shelters, and he tries to talk with the boys and explain that the beast is not something from the sky, but that "maybe it's only us." For, when he encounters the pig's head, Simon has the mystic experience of this beast of Beelzebub speaking to him,

"Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!" said the head..."You knew, didn't you?  I'm part of you? Close, close, close.  I'm the reason why it's no go? Why things are what they are?" (Ch 5)

But, when he comes down the mountain to tell the boys, the hunters gather around him, chanting, "Kill the Beast" and he, along with his pertinent message, is killed. Sadly, even Ralph and Piggy witness this, but in fear Piggy tries to rationalize away this acknowledgement.

In essence this rationalization by Piggy is the beginning of his demise. In Chapter Eleven as Ralph and Piggy climb the mountain to retrieve Piggy's glasses, they approach Castle Rock cautiously. When the sadistic Roger appears, Ralph blows the conch and the hunters emerge, with Jack holding the headless corpse of a pig, while Roger has his hand on the lever by one of the pink boulders. 

Roger tries to reason with Jack; Piggy intervenes asking, 

“Which is better—to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is? . . . Which is better—to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill? . . . Which is better, law and rescue, or hunting and breaking things up?”

Then Jack tries to rush them, and the sadistic Roger, with a "delirious sense of abandonment" sends the boulder down upon Piggy, knocking him off the cliff and into the rushing water. This moment is the climax of the novel as the boys have descended completely into savagery as they have killed the mature and reasonable Piggy.

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Lord of the Flies

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