Simon in the Lord of the Flies

Simon is a member of the choir, but is the only one who seems weak. Simon is introduced in the novel when he faints; this is a show of his weakness. He is a lot like piggy, but not as bullied. Ralph thinks he is ‘queer’ and ‘funny’ because he is realistic.

Simon is the first boy to notice the candle bud flowers when they are out walking. Simon always sees the spiritual side of the island. The only place you see candles nowadays is in churches. Jack slashes at the candle buds with his knife keeping up his reputation as the anarchist.

The creepers on the island are long vines. The small children see these creepers as “beasties”. When the little child comes forward during a meeting, he describes a ‘snake-thing’, then changes his mind to a ‘beastie’. The boy makes out the ‘beastie to be evil’. The beastie the boy has seen is not a physical monster it is a monster inside the boy’s head. The most terrifying thing is darkness and the unknown. The unknown makes the human imagination go wild and ask all the questions it can, “What’s out there?” “Is it a huge big snake” “Is it coming to get me in the night?”

The snake-like thing the ‘little-un’ describes is symbolic of the serpent in the story of Adam and Eve. In Genesis, in the Bible, the serpent is portrayed as the devil and acts against god’s wishes; it offers Eve the fruit from the tree of knowledge, unknowing of the consequences, Eve accepts the fruit. She offers the fruit to her husband, Adam. They both eat the fruit and become aware of their state of undress. When God came walking in the garden he found that Adam and Eve had hidden their genitalia under fig leaves. God banished Adam and Eve from Eden. The serpent, the devil, had won.

Simon is the one who is helping to construct the huts on the beach. He believes the shelters will guard from the ‘beastie’. This is for the benefit of the rest of the group, not selfish like Jack and his crazed hunt for pigs. Simon is a bit of a loner; he has his own cove in the jungle, which he keeps secret from everyone else. This place has ‘more sunlight’ than the rest of the jungle and is decorated with floral bouquets. The jungle suddenly turns into a picturesque haven from the outside anger of the island. But Simon is not escaping the outside force he is merely running from himself, the Simon that exists with the other boys.

When he is inside his special sanctuary he fells protected. There is the appearance of the candle bud flowers again, and coupled with the safety and sanctuary of the cove it almost turns into a church. When the tight canopy of creepers envelops Simon, the light in the cove increases. The passage describes of how the evil in this part of the jungle disappears, ‘Darkness poured out’. Simon is the light in the darkness of the island; he is the only voice of religion amongst the chaos of evil.

Golding is showing Simon to be a spiritual guide in the book. When he is walking through the jungle towards his cavern, he comes across some small children, “little-uns”. They are trying to reach some fruit located just beyond their grasp in a tree. Simon obligingly picks the ‘choicest’ fruit from the foliage and passes it back down to the ‘endless outstretched hands’. This scene can be likened to an event in the bible, which is where Jesus Christ feeds five thousand people with a few loaves of bread and some fish. Simon is the saviour for these children; they had been trying for hours to reach the juiciest fruit from the tree and Simon has got it for them with very little ease.

Simon’s description by Golding shows he has a mop of hair, which is black in colour. This is like that of Jesus Christ, again rekindling the association with a spiritual nature.

Like Piggy Simon is clear-sighted, he knows what is best, but unlike Piggy he advises on the religious meanings of the island. He is the first boy in the party to notice the transformation that has occurred on the island. He sees that, the island they once took for an Eden, has under gone a metamorphosis into a place of evil. When Jack talks of how the ‘little-uns’ scream in their sleep, terrified of the ‘beastie’ Simon is the first to acknowledge “As if the beastie was real” and “As if it wasn’t a good island.” Simon is still blaming the evil experience on an outside force, he, like the entire group still fail to see the evil is within or “The darkness within”. Jack also senses the evil on the island, he likens it to a physical presence when he goes hunting, “…you can feel as if you’re not hunting, but-being hunted: as if something’s behind you…”

The boys on the island have difficulty finishing their sentences; this is because they are scared and embarrassed of their situation. The boys themselves find it difficult to understand the emotions they are feeling and whether these emotions should be listened to. The situation is like that of the Jews in Egypt from the Old Testament in the Bible. When the evil Egyptian slave masters ruled them, they were not enjoying themselves but they had some kind of law and order. When Moses freed them, they were happy at the wonders of freedom, but soon were reduced to a rabble of immoral ‘wrong-doers’.

The boys have been ruled by grown-ups all their lives and when they find themselves on the Island, they are ecstatic, but when things get difficult and new feelings arise, bad things happen. Luckily for the Jews Moses was there to save them, he went to God and received the Ten Commandments that brought law and order back to his people. Maybe something similar will happen in this novel. Simon may save the boys, or he may be symbolising Moses and some other, yet unknown force, is God.

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