Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 2485 words

Study the character of Simon from the novel Lord of the Flies.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Simon maintains a positive outlook on the boys' situation. He represents purity and goodness and can be seen as a Christ-like figure. He constantly reinforces his belief that they will be rescued when the other boys are pessimistic and have given up hope. During chapter 5, Simon is perceptive enough to recognise that the "beast" the boys are obsessive about is "only us" - he recognises the evil and savagery that is within them and threatening to take them over with the loss of all rationality. It is in Chapter 5 that Simon encounters the head of the pig killed by the other boys in the forest. This event provides the title for the book as he names the pig's head "Lord of the Flies". He converses with the pig's head, partly through his own imagination and partly via an unaccountable and savage voice. For Simon this is the confirmation of his belief that he is coming face-to-face with "The beast in everyone". He collapses in a faint and this foreshadows his death in chapter 9. In chapter 9, Simon is killed by the other boys, fulfilling the prophecy of the Lord of the Files that all of the boys would fall foul of the savagery that possesses them when they are all together. Rationality is lost when the force of their bestial nature takes over.

Middle

When it comes to it, however, Ralph's sense of duty overcomes his fear and he presses on alone. At the end of the chapter, we see how he is faced with opposition to his practical approach. He knows how important it is to get the fire going, but the others want to play. He tries touse sense to talk them round, but they aren't entirely convinced as he has ruined their fun. We see a combination of weakness and strength from Jack in this chapter and the beginnings of the challenge to Jack's leadership. He starts trying to break the rules of the society by rejecting the notion of the conch. We see Jack's anger as Ralph insists that he follow the rules. He is anxious for the hunt and gladly takes the lead. It is only when the reach the 'castle' that he hangs back a bit. We have another battle of wills - it is quite interesing that it is between the hunter (Jack), symbolic of instinct and emotion, and the chief (Ralph), symbolic of reason. Ralph goes ahead, but Jack joins him, showing that he will not be left behind. It is very significant that Jack sees the castle as an opportunity to build a fort and have fun, and that he is the one who leads the boys away at the end of the chapter.

Conclusion

As the book progresses and the rules of society break down we begin to see the capacity for evil emerge. This culminates in the deaths of Piggy and Simon. The island is almost destroyed by fire. Ralph is chased like a wild animal and would almost certainly have been murdered if the naval officer had not arrived. I think that it is Golding's view that it is the boys who bring evil to the island. You will need to decide what you think and then back this up with evidence from the text. In chapter five there is a lot of discussion about what the beast may be. For Jack, the beast is nothing more than a wild animal to be hunted and killed. His view is that if there is a beast then it is something that they will have to put up with. Piggy, who is very logical, says that it is the age of science and there can't possibly be a beast. He says, "I know there isn't no beast." The younger children are convinced that the beast is a large terrifying creature. Maurice and Percival are sure that it is a large sea serpent-like creature. Simon expresses William Golding's view that the beast is actually something inside them. It is the capacity to be evil and cruel that is really the beast. At the assembly he says "Maybe it's only us." It is this view of what the beast is that the book explores in the rest of the narrative.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • Over 150,000 essays available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE William Golding essays

  1. To what extent is Lord of the flies a pessimistic book?

    Why things are the way they are.' Simon is warned, 'so don't try it on' (don't tell the boys about the beast.) '-Or else... we shall do you...and Piggy and Ralph.' This is a grim prediction of what is to come. Simon is presented as a Christ like figure, as when he leaves the beast he goes

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Read the passages in Chapter 3 where Jack and Simon are each in the ...

    5 star(s)

    In Chapter three, when each boy is alone in the forest on separate occasions, it is no coincidence that Jack and Simon are there in such different circumstances and using contrasting imagery. Golding writes the novel so that characters, who strongly dominate the plot at any given time, are associated with the mood and imagery of their surroundings.

  1. Analysis of Lord of the Flies.

    but even within the civilization that has nurtured them, the danger of savagery remains real. Chapter 7 Summary As they travel toward the mountain, the boys stop to eat. Ralph gazes disconsolately at the choppy ocean, thinking that the boys have become slovenly and undisciplined.

  2. Themes, Motifs, and Symbols - Themes are the fundamental concepts addressed and explored in ...

    They continue to talk about the "beastie" and to fear that a monster hunts in the darkness. The large amount of fruit that they eat causes them to develop chronic diarrhea and stomach ailments. Their lives are quite separate from those of the older boys, and they are often tormented by the older hunters.

  1. The role of Simon in the novel 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding.

    This release of the dead airman represents the transition of the boys to a state of savagery. As Simon is staggering down off the mountain, the rest of the boys, including Piggy and Ralph, are performing their ritual dance, and chanting.

  2. Lord of the flies chapter 8

    He begins to lose his mind and thoughts when Jack completes his take-over. This conveys Ralph's mental breakdown. Overall, this is significant to the novel because we learn that Ralph's desires are not to stay on the island or integrate himself into the island because of his strong desire to be rescued.

  1. Lord of the Flies Essay How does Golding build up to the final ...

    When they change the subject, it eventually leads to the beast again, how the "beast" frightens the "littluns" and how they are beginning to doubt the island themselves, and the luxuries that they once thought is gave them. When Simon suggests that it is "as if the beastie...or the snake thing was real."

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

    order and Jack representing savagery and the desire for power and self-gratification. In addition to the development of the Ralph/Jack conflict and the continued development of the boys' island civilization, the emergence of Simon as a symbolic figure is another important development in Chapter 3.

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.