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Explore the importance of the character Simon in "Lord of the Flies".

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Introduction

Lord of the Flies - William Golding By Devesh Amar Explore the importance of the character Simon in "Lord of the Flies" William Golding was born and brought up in the early 1900's in England, where he lead a well educated childhood under the guidance of his scientific and rational parents. But his parent's influence was often in vain, as the darkness and unknown created a barrier of irrational thoughts. He then went on to serve the Royal Navy during the Second World War (1939-1945), where he experienced for himself the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis, the dropping of the first atom bomb and the cruelty and brutality of combat. These memories had obviously touched Golding, who expressed this change by his pessimistic view that "anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey, must have been blind or wrong in the head." After the war, Golding resumed his normal profession of teaching at a boy's school in Salisbury, after which he wrote and published his first book in 1954- "Lord of the Flies". This was based on the plot of R.M. Ballantyne's text "The Coral Island". The same plot is used by Golding, in which three boys have been shipwrecked on an island, but eventually escape death from vicious cannibals because of their miraculous conversion in Christians. But Golding wanted to express to the world how real boys would act in these circumstances, thus he wrote this novel, in which he expresses his thoughts that "evil doesn't come from outside; it is inside all of us." This narrative is an adventure story about a group of boys who are unfortunately marooned on a deserted island on one level, but can be seen as an allegorical fable at another level, displaying the physical explorations of life created by Hobbs and Rousseau and even using representational characters, locations and events to explore each of theirs and Golding's ideas. ...read more.

Middle

This proves how reserved he is, which is even evident when he solitarily explores the jungle, without revealing to the other the wonderful sights and beauty of it. He tries his utter best to be more like Ralph, who was such an open speaker, but his attempts lead to him bumping into a tree, thinking about how exactly the others managed to speak while avoiding nervousness and without thinking of the effect it would have on their reputations. The discovery of a new location, created different images in the protagonist and antagonist of the text. Jack believes that the place was ideal for the creation of a fort, in which they could pass their time by playing. But Ralph realizes that their spending too long there wouldn't be wise, as it lacked the basic needs such as clean, pure water, food and no means of shelter. Their views are juxtaposed by Golding, who highlights the two different opinions and shows Ralph's progression to a mature and more considerate person when it came to thinking of the good of the whole group. Ralph sits at the beach, thinking about his physical deterioration, as his nails and hair had out-grown and were filthy and shabby. He realizes that they lacked the basic elements of civilizations, showing how he has become much more reflective over the fact that their being rescued seemed as far away as the "miles wide" ocean. But Simon yet again arose comfort and releases some of the strain from Ralph, by assuring him that atleast his realization and good thoughts would eventually reward him- "You'll get back home to where you came from." This follows yet another hunt, but this time Ralph accompanies the hunters, just to experience for himself what they were getting so excited about. He eventually plays a big part, as he hastily strikes a boar with his peak right in its snout, but the boar fled from the rest and escaped with shrieks of pain. ...read more.

Conclusion

As night beckoned, Simon's death was imminent now, as the flies surrounded him this time, and he turned gently in the water and moved slowly out to sea. He was an innocent martyr, who died for a animalistic and religious belief of Jack, amongst which all of their sanity had been demolished and they crazily dug deep into Simon's body and ripped him. But his silvered cheek and the shape of his shoulder turning into sculptured marble, just highlights how he is made beautiful even after this wretched death, which seems to be like a Halo. Simon was beginning to seem like a Jesus-like figure, as his helping the innocent littleuns links back to "the feeding of five thousand", and instead of thinking about himself, he uses the last energy in his frail body to inform the group about his discovery that the beast was of no harm to them, just like a saint would have done. His death justifies the earlier precursor where the boys just played around with Robert, to some extent even getting carried away amongst the poking and pinching. His violent, yet biblical death has been well highlighted towards the end, by the long imagery used by Golding describing the changing weather, and when Simon is actually dead, the "clouds drifted away" and "lamps of stars" filled the sky, which justifies my earlier quote that he had a beautiful death. As the novel develops, Simon emerges as an important figure to contrast with Ralph and Jack. Where Ralph represents the "good" of civilization and Jack the "evil" of uncivilized instinct, Simon represents a third quality-a kind of natural, uncivilized goodness. Most of the boys seem to have their ideas of goodness and morality imposed on them by the external forces of civilization, so that the longer they are away from human society the more eroded their moral sense becomes. But Simon's basic goodness and kindness seem to come from within him, tied to his connection with nature. ...read more.

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