In William Golding's Lord of the Flies, what does Simon seem to be implying about his own future when he says to Ralph "You'll get back all right"?     

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, is set on a tropical island; a group of English schoolboys is stranded there after a plane crash, and it does not seem likely that anyone knows they are there. 

The elected leader of the boys is Ralph, and he is one of the few characters who really wants to be rescued; some of the others say it, but none of them do what is needed to keep a signal fire going so any passing ships or planes will know they are there. In chapter seven, Ralph is more discouraged than he has ever been by the others' unwillingness to do anything. 

Ralph walks along the beach, looking down at the movement of the waves on the rocks at his feet. When he looks up, though, he is overwhelmed by the vastness of the ocean.

[G]radually the almost infinite size of this water forced itself on his attention. This was the divider, the barrier. On the other side of the island, swathed at midday with mirage, defended by the shield of the quiet lagoon, one might dream of rescue; but here, faced by the brute obtuseness of the ocean, the miles of division, one was clamped down, one was helpless, one was condemned, one was—

His despair is interrupted by Simon practically whispering in his ear, assuring Ralph that “You’ll get back to where you came from.” Ralph is surprised at the statement, and Ralph jokes about it a bit, but Simon makes virtually the statement twice more. Simon obviously senses Ralph's despair and wants to reassure him, though the words seem like more than idle or careless statements.

The implication of Simon's declaration is clear: Simon, the sensitive soul who seems to know things that others do not, believes that Ralph will survive this ordeal but that he (Simon) will not. 


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Lord of the Flies

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