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Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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What are the similarities between Roger and Simon in Lord of the Flies?

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Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Simon and Roger were two boys on an island that at first had only a few similarities. Roger did not like to be told what to do and was very aggressive, even though he was younger than Simon. Roger always wanted his own way. Roger hated Simon because he was so kind and gentle; he also hated Simon because he was much taller than him.

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William Golding's Lord of the Flies focuses on a group of boys who are stranded on an island after the airplane they are on crashes. The young boys find themselves on an uninhabited island and are left to fend for themselves when they realize there are no adults with...

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them. Apart from these circumstances and their similar ages, there are few other commonalities betweenRoger and Simon.

Simon is viewed as the epitome of morality throughout the novel, and is commonly accepted as an almost Christ-like figure. His actions throughout the novel are motivated solely by good; he strives to do what is considered right, even if there is no benefit to him. Simon even offers up his own life in an effort to enlighten the other boys about the "beast" and assuage some of their fears.

Conversely, Roger acts as a foil to Simon's character. His actions often agitate or harm the other boys on the island; he seems to take great joy in inflicting pain on those around him. These actions culminate in Roger's choice to take Piggy's life.

Part of the brilliance of Golding's novel is its ability to demonstrate how easily one's actions can move from civil to savage. The characters of Simon and Roger appear similar on the surface, but the lack of control and authority on the island quickly leads them down separate paths.

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What role do Simon and Roger play in Lord of the Flies?

Simon is a type of Christ-like figure. He represents goodness:

Among all the boys, it is Simon whose behavior is perhaps the most exemplary during the first part of the story.

Simon picks fruit for the littluns who are too small to reach it. He meditates on things to help all the boys. He learns that the beast is a only parachutist. With that new knowledge, he can hardly wait to share his good news. He comes rushing out of the forest only to meet his sacrificial death. He is killed most barbarically. His death can be compared to the Crucifixion scene of Christ. The boys kill him with their bare hands and teeth. His death reawakens Ralph's sense that civilized order is a necessity in order for them to survive.

Roger represents evil. He is demonic. He treats everyone with hostility. He cruelly probes the sow's rectum with his spear and twists with all his weight until the sow screams in agony. Roger is merciless:

They corner the wounded pig, and when she falls they are on her. Roger is particularly cruel, driving in his spear slowly by leaning his weight upon it until the sow screams in agony.

Likewise, Roger kills Piggy with no remorse. Also, he is preparing to kill Ralph:

He prepares a stick, with points sharpened at each end, on which to mount Ralph’s head.

Roger is definitely savage in his ways. If Simon represents a Christ-like figure, Roger represents the anti-Christ or Satan. Truly Simon and Roger are extremely opposite one another in actions. Simon represents goodness in Roger's evil world.

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How are Simon and Piggy vital to the story in Lord of the Flies?

Simon is the most attuned to the inner fears and possibilities being faced by all the boys as they struggle to adjust to their situation. "Maybe there is a beast....maybe it's only us." He understands the feelings of hopelessness, but also urges that action of some sort needs to be taken. "What else is there to do?" Simon is brave and selfless at times, as when he summons the courage to go up the mountain and encounter the beast up close. At the same time, however, his difficulty in communicating his insights and discoveries leaves him unable to express or defend himself, resulting in his death.

Piggy is the intellectual planner, the one who spends the most time trying to rationally analyze the surroundings and construct plans for dealing with it. He recognizes the need for order and respect for organization and communication, as symbolized by the conch shell. "We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They’ll come when they hear us..." Piggy is able to verbalize the need for the boys to do what they can to increase their likelihood of being found, and he is able to recognize the deterioration of the sense of order and civility that could have prevented the boys' behavior from descending to the basest of animal instincts. "Life...is scientific....I know there isn't no beast...but I know there isn't no fear, either....Unless we get frightened of people."

Both characters are instrumental as voices attempting to preserve calm and reason in the midst of increasing fear and desparation and willingness to follow the uncontrolled violence of Jack the bully.

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