In Chapter 9 of The Lord of the Flies, what does the action of the tide carrying Simon's body out to sea suggest about him?

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Michael Otis eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Simon has discovered that the 'beast' - which fills the boys with a kind of mythological fear - is nothing more than the corpse of the paratrooper. But, in a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Simon bears this revelation to the boys just as they are engaged on the beach in a ritual slaying of the beast. Unable to be heard, he becomes the sacrificial victim the boys had long sought. Shortly after this climactic moment, the storm wind picks up the body of the paratrooper and carries it out to sea. The boys scatter, leaving Simon's body on the beach where later the tide comes in to bear it away. Both bodies 'accepted' by the sea suggest a kind of transference. The tribe of boys have become the very 'beast' they feared and worshipped. Its simulacrum in the dead paratrooper is no longer necessary. Simon has become a kind of prophet who dies for the truth, which had it been spoken, might have prevented the transformation of a boys choir into a bloodthirsty tribe.

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Lord of the Flies

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