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What is the importance of Simon in 'Lord of the Flies'

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Introduction

What is the importance of Simon in Lord of the Flies? Write about: - The importance of the part Simon plays in the plot - How Simon is different from the other boy's - What Simon might represent - The ways the writer uses Simon to convey his ideas. 'Then one of the boys flopped on his face in the sand and the line broke up.' Even at this point, the very first mention of Simon in The Lord of the Flies, Simon is marked out as something different. Throughout the book, he is the outsider. Inhabiting the 'dubious region' between biguns and littluns - he is singled out for his faints, as Jack says, 'In Gib.; and Addis; and at matins over the precentor,' and, like Piggy, is often the subject of group ridicule. For example, when on page 92 he admits to being out at night, his mumbled excuses are put down with Jack's dismissive 'he was taken short' - and he is crushed by 'the derisive laughter that rose.' He also seeks solitude, not companionship - but somehow is never afraid, unlike the other boys - who are all afraid at one time or another. ...read more.

Middle

Moreover, when looked at from a religious point of view, this embodiment of two very basic human fascinations might be interpreted as Simon representing God, or Christ - and Roger, not Jack, representing the Devil. In my opinion, this may well have been what Golding was aiming at when he wrote The Lord of the Flies. Simon certainly has many christlike qualities - Roger we hear less of, though what we do hear is chilling: '"You don't know Roger. He's a terror."' Still, whether he is seen as the flip side of Roger or not - there are strong links between Simon and God, or Jesus. He is often a solitary figure - going off on his own into the jungle, the reason for which we later learn is his epilepsy. Moreover, there he seems to enjoy nature and find it beautiful ('"Like candles. Candle bushes. Candle buds"') and be at one with it; he is very peaceful, and does not damage the environment he is in: For example, the way he 'dropped the screen of leaves back into place' when coming out of the mat of creepers that he goes to. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Beast basically tries to persuade him into forgetting what he knows - to not attempt to enlighten the other boys, and just 'have fun.' In my opinion, this experience could well be related to the story of the 40 days and 40 nights Jesus spent in the desert being tempted by the devil. Simon's hallucination would almost certainly have been tempting, but still - after he recovers his first action is to venture up the mountain to see what was there and then down to tell the other boys that there is no beast. Ironically, he is mistaken for the beast and killed by the people he is trying to save - once again, much like Jesus. I believe Golding uses the character of Simon in his novel to get across his idea that, as there is innate human savagery, there is also innate human goodness. However, the fact the Simon was eventually overcome and killed by the Beast's side of the boys nature - the book rather depressingly hints at the scarcity of goodness in the face of evil, and how in the end - it may be overcome. Written entirely from notes in class and my own thoughts. ?? ?? ?? ?? Kester Clark ...read more.

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Response to the question

This candidate's response is an immensely strong analysis of the character of Simon in 'William Golding's allegorical novel 'Lord of the Flies'. After almost every point, the candidate provides an appropriate piece of evidence from the source text with an ...

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Response to the question

This candidate's response is an immensely strong analysis of the character of Simon in 'William Golding's allegorical novel 'Lord of the Flies'. After almost every point, the candidate provides an appropriate piece of evidence from the source text with an explanation that suggests there is a profound understanding of the allegory Golding creates with this novel and particularly with Simon's character. A consistent focus upon the importance of the character of Simon is shown through an analysis of character, his beliefs, his interactions with other characters and also his symbolic contribution to Golding's allegory.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is outstanding. This candidate nails Simon's character with such precision that it finally feels like we can properly understand him as a person as well as a thematic element in a novel. There is an excellently-expressed understanding of the entire novel, and the candidate does well to satisfy the examiner's desire to see candidates who thoroughly understand the entirety of the novel's they analyse inside and out. In between spots of analysis, there is a well-informed contextual appreciation of both the book, the author, and the themes explored in the book. Simply recognising the book is an allegory novel provides contextual marks as the candidate is showing they realise the book is deliberately symbolic, and thus delves deeper than most other candidates into exploring the function and purpose of Simon.
Most impressive about this essay, is the understanding of religious references Golding makes about Simon's character. The recognition that when Simon reaches for unattainable fruit is symbolic of 'The Feeding of the Five Thousand' and how his encounter with The Lord of the Flies is representative of Jesus' temptation in the desert after 40 days of fasting (not to mention that the candidate realises "Lord of the Flies" is a literal translation from the Latin "Beelzebub"; this wins context and understanding marks), are all signs of someone who's analytical prowess is of a far higher ability than GCSE, meaning the only possible conclusion is to award top marks.
I, and some other examiners, might argue that it is indeed Jack that is the living representation of all that is evil. He might not be described in such an eloquent form as Roger, but he nonetheless the representation of humanity once all of society's virtues and rights have been stripped away - Roger on the other hand at least showed signs of "aiming to miss the little'uns" when he first started throwing rocks at them, showing there is a very small, insignificant even, binding by society's expectation. However, the candidate is right on the grounds that Roger, like Jack, drops this social awareness later in the novel and submits himself to his innate animalistic desires and bloodthirsty survival instincts.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is very high and this answer reads extremely well. There is evidence of a great adeptness in using the English language to successfully construct an effective analysis (range of sentences/sentence starters; punctuation; excellent grammatical adherence) meaning this answer is both well-informed and well-presented.


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