In what ways can Simon's struggle be described as an external struggle in Lord of the Flies?use an embeded quote to explain your answer, please!

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From the incipience of the narrative, Simon seems at odds with other characters. Even the introduction of this character into the narrative is one fraught with conflict as in Chapter One Simon is presented as a "fallen boy" who has passed out from the heat of the island. When the others want to help him, Jack Merridew, with "offhand authority" tells them, "Let him alone....He's always throwing a faint."

Then, when Ralph suggests that three of them go on an expedition, he, Jack, and Simon, the boys "giggled" at hearing Simon's name. And, when the boys build the first fire that diminishes swiftly because the wood is dry, Ralph comments that their effort has been a failure because there is no smoke. But, Jack criticizes Piggy's comments that they will not be able to keep a fire going, anyway.

"A fat lot you tried, said Jack contemptuously. "You just sat."

"We used his specs," said Simon...."He helped that way."

Always Simon tries to be encouraging with the others. His kindness extends to Ralph when the others refuse to help with the building of shelters and he alone remains. When their single effort fails, Simon urges Ralph, "You're chief. You tell 'em off."

At times the introspective and intuitive Simon wanders off from the others. When he walks to his place in the forest, Simon watches to be certain that he is "utterly alone"--his movements are "almost furtive." On one of his visits to this secret place, he is mocked by Jack that he has gone there because "[H]e was caught short." He feels humiliated as this remark is met with laughter, "the derisive laughter that rose had fear in it and condemnation." As a result, Simon

...became inarticulate in his effort to express mankind's essential illness....the laughter beat him cruelly and he shrank away defenseless to his seat.

Finally, the mystic-like Simon, whose "inward sight [holds] the picture of a human at once heroic and sick" after his encounter in the small clearing in the forest with the Lord of the Flies, attempts once more to inform the boys of the evil within them, for "what else is there to do?" But, when he returns, the hunters are engaged in a ritualistic dance, and he is bludgeoned to death as the savage boys jump and chant, "Kill the beast!" Simon is killed and his body left to bleed and wash out to sea.

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Lord of the Flies

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