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Analyse, review and comment on the three different presentations of Simon's death in 'Lord of the Flies'

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Analyse, review and comment on the three different presentations of Simon's death in 'Lord of the Flies'. In exploring the breakdown into savagery of a group of boys free from the imposed moral constraints of civilization and society, Lord of the Flies dramatizes a fundamental human struggle. They conflict over the impulse to obey rules and behave morally and the impulse to indulge in brute power over others. Golding's novel, known to have been his most compelling, symbolizes his pessimism about the natural state of human beings, their culpability and sinfulness and his own cynicism about life inevitably inform the style and tone of his writing. The castaways, who were initially cathedral choirboys of higher class yield to the fringe of repugnant behaviour and this consequents in ritual and sacrifice. Their inner natures convert to barbaric conduct resulting in the collapse of any civilised behaviour there once was to succumb to their surging urge of tribal power rather than of rescue and survival. It was Golding's intentions to expose the beast within every one of us and to tell a 'true' story about the collapse of a once civilised group of boys. The death of Simon represented great sympathy towards characters and to a reader or audience. He portrayed an enigmatic character symbolizing Christ for one of God's disciples was name Simon Peter. This spiritualistic idea is shown through his epileptic fits and that he is the first to die of the boys; which are revealed in all three versions of the novel including the original text itself. The black/white version shows Simon with blonde hair, which I think reflects a more prophetic view of heaven and angels than the Simon in the colour version with the brown hair does. ...read more.


Peter Brooke did not spotlight the storm as efficiently as he could and therefore lacks this detail. Harry Hook may have articulated the idea that the boys themselves have conjured up the storm. Then a loud thumping noise can be heard and this personifies the boys' heart pulses as they go faster inevitably the music speeds up. Roger leaps in the air simulating and then the producer uses slow motion, a knowledgeable effect, to help an audience have a close focus on the expressions and movements of the boys. The music converts to that of Rites of Spring by Stravinsky, which is powerful mind-releasing music, and it gets faster as the boys move more rapidly in the circle. Simon then appeared and there is silence as Jack says, "It's the real monster. Kill him". This is not expressed in the original text but Harry Hook defines the idea that the boys were not sure before of what they have become for they have lost total control over themselves. They rush towards the innocent Simon and savagely stab him. There is a crack of thunder and lightning and Simon's body is illuminated but no occurrence of a heavenly choir song in comparison to Peter Brookes version. Loud drum rolls signifying a drawback and a look at his body lying on the beach follow this. There is then silence which is broken thunder/lightning and followed by military drum rolls as a grim reminder of what the boys once were. Peter Brooke builds up the tension in his black/white version to a climax at the point of which the boys' have totally become inhumane and sadistic. ...read more.


The chant becomes louder 'in agony' from the boys' pains from the noise of the storm. This all adds to the tension up to Simon's death. Simon then appears and is brutally murdered; Golding describes the sound of his death with "the tearing of teeth and claws" which brings out Golding's nature of "the end of innocence". Golding, using effectual imagery, says that the "clouds opened" and let down the rain "like a waterfall" depicting a heaven-like image into a readers mind, after all, the boy with the birthmark has just been killed. Golding then says that the "figures staggered away" rather than using the word 'boys' and using the owrd 'staggered' indicating that he purposely wanted to create the impression of 'evolving man' to the reader. The two producers of the films used this technique effectively in creating this impression. Fire is expressed numerous times in the two film versions and the original text. Golding signified that it is representative of life, but sadly and ironically, it is also the element which causes the death of the boy with the birthmark. In Golding's view, the innocence of the child is a crude fallacy, for evolving man has always had, by nature a terrible potentiality for evil. Golding intended to convey a number of messages in his 'modern fable', none of which were light-hearted or facetious. His tone is one of hopelessness and despondency at the inevitability of evil and unpleasant things happening. Yet Golding does not overstate the more morbid perspective, nor does he become maudlin. He has showed us plainly what the consequences might be, then leaves us to think and learn. ...read more.

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