Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

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What is the significance of Simon's death in Lord of the Flies?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In chapter 9, a tropical storm rages over the island, and Jack and his hunters engage in their ritual dance as heavy rains bombard the beach. During the chaotic atmosphere, Simon emerges from the forest, and the boys mistake him for the beast. Every boy, including Ralph, Piggy, and Samneric, join in the ritual frenzy and brutally murder Simon. This significant moment signifies the complete loss of innocence on the island and emphasizes the barbarity of the boys.

Simon is a symbolic Christ figure throughout the novel, and his death reflects Christ's brutal crucifixion. The fact that the boys have committed such an atrocious, brutal act signifies their complete descent into savagery. Essentially, Simon's death represents the loss of civility on the island and the point of no return. After Simon dies, there is no hope for the few boys who cling to the idea of creating a civilized society on the island. 

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This chapter symbolises the end of any vestiges of civilisation on the island and in the community of the boys. At this stage Jack and his hunters are nothing but inhuman savages filled with bloodlust and able to commit heinous crimes with a clear conscience. Ralph's followers at this stage become depressed and consider joining Jack and his gang, and all are involved in the ritual dance around the fire following the murder. In a highly significant piece of pathetic fallacy, the storm that rages over the island after Simon's death symbolises the chaos and anarchy that have overtaken the island and the boys and also reminds us of the catastrophe of the murder and what it represents.

In a sense, after Simon's confrontation with the Lord of the Flies, where the Lord of the Flies promises that he will have some "fun" with Simon and Simon realises that the beast is actually within us all, it was clear that Simon would need to confront the beast in the other boys. The Christ-like parallels between Simon and Jesus are maintained here (though not completely), for Jesus and Simon are both killed for the truth they possess. However, unlike Christ, Simon is not given a chance to share his truth. Also, of course, the function of the deaths are very different: Jesus died to save mankind, whereas Simon's death only serves to highlight the moral degeneracy at the heart of man and ushers in even further oppression and darkness in the novel.

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chris3-dhoom1 | Student

is there any Civilization theories for lord Of The Flies

dancingbarefoot96 | Student

Simon's death represents completion on degeneration from civilization to savagery.