What does Simon see from the mountain in Lord of the Flies?

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Simon is depicted as a Christ figure throughout the novel and is the only boy who truly understands the identity of the beast on the island. Rather than viewing the beast as a malevolent physical being inhabiting the island, Simon understands that the beast is the inherent wickedness inside of...

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Simon is depicted as a Christ figure throughout the novel and is the only boy who truly understands the identity of the beast on the island. Rather than viewing the beast as a malevolent physical being inhabiting the island, Simon understands that the beast is the inherent wickedness inside of each boy. After his encounter with the Lord of the Flies, which confirms his suspicions regarding the beast's identity, Simon climbs to the top of the mountain to investigate whether or not the boys actually saw a beast. In chapter 9, Simon climbs to the top of the mountain and discovers that the beast is actually the swaying corpse of a dead paratrooper whose parachute is tangled in the trees, which makes the decaying corpse sway when the wind blows. Golding writes,

"The tangle of lines showed him the mechanics of this parody; he examined the white nasal bones, the teeth, the colors of corruption. He saw how pitilessly the layers of rubber and canvas held together the poor body that should be rotting away. Then the wind blew again and the figure lifted, bowed, and breathed foully at him" (210).

After Simon learns that the beast is actually the corpse of a dead paratrooper, he turns toward the beach and sees that the fire on the platform has gone out. Simon then peers further along the beach and sees a small trickle of smoke, indicating that the boys have shifted their camp away from the beast. Simon then climbs down the mountain and attempts to inform the boys that the beast is actually a dead paratrooper.

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In Chapter 8, after Simon experiences his hallucination of "the Lord of the Flies," a hallucination inspired by the decomposing impaled pig's head, he loses consciousness and wakes up to find he has had a nosebleed. At the start of chapter 9, despite the horror of his hallucination and his fear, he climbs up the mountain to find the beast, and when he encounters the beast, he realizes that it is simply the dead body of a paratrooper. From the mountain, he looks down and sees a fire on the beach and a thin stream of smoke.

The fire and the smoke are indications to Simon that the rest of the boys have moved the camp away from the beast. Upon realizing this, Simon makes his way back down the mountain, intending to tell everyone that the beast is not what they think it is.

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