The camera then cuts to a series of close up shots of the boys screaming and shouting. The boys’ faces are in shadow so that the audience cannot see them. There is then a medium shot of the boys, still unrecognisable, silhouetted against the fire. The camera then cuts to a medium shot of the boys chanting and banging their spears on the ground. The audience recognize Ralph within their ranks symbolising mankind’s ultimate decent into savagery, a theme that Golding uses many a time in the novel. The camera remains still as the boys march past it, as though they are soldiers on parade.
The boys then become frantic and there are continuous extreme close ups of arms, legs, cheeks but never a full face or body. These shots are generally out of focus and give the effect that you are actually there with the boys banging into you and running about. There is a medium shot of the boys becoming more and more frantic because the darkness is becoming unbearable and the boys are being overcome with a faint madness. There is then a close up of a boy’s face, which is unrecognisable.
The camera then cuts to a medium shot of Simon, making his way through the jungle. He is pushing leaves away so that he can make it to the beach as soon as possible. The camera then cuts to another medium shot of another boy, which it appears could be Jack, but he is still partly in shadow. When we see ‘Jack’ the camera is looking upwards to exaggerate his authority and his power over the boys. ‘Jack’ points to Simon and the boys suddenly charge towards the camera. This gives the audience the impression that they are Simon, and that they can see the boys charging towards them, a technique which further emphasizes the terror that Simon is about to face.
The camera then cuts to a close up of Simon screaming. His body is partly in shadow. As the boys stab Simon the camera withdraws giving the effect that the audience are so horrified and shocked by what the boys are doing, they have to back off for air. There is then a medium shot of the boys’ backs whilst they are still stabbing downwards with their spears. There is a close up shot of Simon holding his arms up in terror This gives the audience the impression that they have rejoined the circle and are stabbing downwards at the ‘beast’ (Simon) along with the other boys. The camera then sweeps slowly along the beach, as the boys force Simon into the sea.
We then see a shot of the tide coming into the shore; the sea water is mingled with Simon’s blood. The camera then pans to Simon’s body, floating in the ocean. His body starts off facing upwards and slowly revolves round to hide his face. The director uses this as a sign of respect for Simon that the audience can relate to. Meanwhile, the gentle tranquillity of the ocean helps to calm the audience after the chaos and frenzy of what has just happened. The screen slowly fades to total darkness with only a faint outline of Simon’s body in sight. Finally the screen begins to get lighter as flickers of phosphorescent light can be seen here and there. This gradually overwhelms the screen and adds to the audience’s sense of peace and tranquillity.
I will now give a detailed analysis of the sounds used in the scene depicting Simon’s death. The scene starts off with a high pitched scream and then, gradually, screaming from different people can be heard. This reflects the terror that the darkness brings in the novel. The crackling of the fire can be heard now, along with the continuous screaming of he boys. The crackling of the fire intensifies to coincide with the, gradually increasing, screaming of the boys. The director uses these noises to remind the audience that these boys are ‘playing with fire’ and that their activities are becoming increasingly more dangerous.
The audience then hear a torch swing through the air and a storm beginning as it sends the waves of the ocean, whooshing up into the night. The audience then hear the torch sizzling as it hits the water. The director uses the boy, swinging the flaming branch about, to emphasise the idea that the boys are becoming more and more frantic and dangerous. The original screaming of the boys has now turned to cheering and the audience hear more branches being swung around. This gives the audience the impression that, although the boys were originally scared, they have now started to celebrate and to forget their original fears.
The audience then hear the boys dancing and issuing tribal ululations between each other. The director has used this to coincide with the scene, in the novel, which represents the boys’ downfall into savagery. The sounds in the scene once again shift to being more deadly and the audience hear the boys stamping their feet and banging their spears on the ground. The director does this so that the audience think of tribal drums and tribal celebrations.
One of the boys shouts out ‘kill’ and the mood of the scene becomes even more dangerous. The boys begin to chant the words;
“Kill the pig! Slit her throat! Bash her in!” This chant starts off quietly and slowly and, gradually, with every repetition, getts faster and louder. This leads the audience to believe that something is going to happen. The beating of the ‘drums’ starts to become hypnotic. The director does this to further indicate to the audience that something horrific is going to happen.
The continuous cheering, chanting, beating and stamping interweave and become even more intense, giving the audience the impression of chaos and frenzy within the boys. Screaming is heard again which implies that the boys are becoming scared again. The, still ongoing, chant changes from “kill the pig” to “kill the beast”, and the boys begin to bang their spears together which once again adds to the tribal feel of the scene.
The sounds become mingled now, and increase in tempo, which adds to the audience’s sense of chaos. Then, as the camera first cuts to Simon, the tribal noises fade and become background noises; the predominant sound at this time, in the scene, is leaves being trodden on and being pushed out of the way. One of the boys shouts out “look” and all the other noises stop which gives the audience a sense of awareness. The same boy shouts out “the beast”, and there is once again complete silence. In this scene, this is a source of dramatic irony, because the audience know that it is Simon who the boys are referring to as ‘the beast’. This relates to the novel because the same dramatic irony is present when the boys first see Simon.
The boys begin to scream as they charge Simon. These screams range from high pitched to low shouting. As the boys get closer to Simon, their screams get louder and more constant. There is one high pitched scream that stands out from the rest because it is almost girl-like. This scream belongs to Simon who realises what the boys are planning to do. The audience then hear short thuds and tearing. This leads them to the knowledge that the boys are brutally murdering Simon in a tide of chaos and frenzy.
The high pitched screaming finally stops and the noise of the sea is heard in the background. Thunder can also be heard and there is a bloodthirsty repetition of “kill” by the boys. The noise of the boys slowly fades away which informs the audience that they are walking away from what they have just done. When the noise of the boys completely stops, the thunder and the sea can really be heard. There is then silence in the scene with faint and distant sounding choir music gradually getting louder. The choir music is harmonic and represents Simon’s purity and innocence for the audience. Simon’s death sequence ends with one clear, harmonic note from the choir that fades out slowly.
In my opinion, the director of this film does create the chaos and frenzy within this scene as effectively as Golding does in the novel. The director’s most successful part in this sequence is when Simon is killed and his body claimed by the sea. He recreates this part with the same natural and ‘lyrical’ beauty which Golding uses in the book. The director’s only unsuccessful part in the sequence is the storm as he starts it too late in the sequence, whereas Golding uses the thunder and lightning to work the boys up into a frenzy. He also does not, in my view, successfully recreate Simon’s death because no film could recreate the savagery of the boys and the imagery which Golding creates in the novel through his language and description.