Simon in Lord of the Flies: Character Analysis & Quotes

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  • 0:03 Why Be Good?
  • 1:09 Simon as Selfless
  • 2:09 Simon's Vision and Death
  • 3:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Judith Dunkerly-Bean

Judith has taught university literacy and teacher education courses and holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction.

This lesson focuses on Simon, one of the main characters in William Golding's classic novel, 'Lord of the Flies.' Simon can be seen as a Christ-like figure in the novel, representing kindness, innate goodness, and self-sacrifice.

Why Be Good?

What makes a person behave in a good way? Is it fear of being punished, or is it an innate or natural tendency? In the classic Christmas carol, we're told we'd ''better watch out and better not cry'' because Santa Claus is watching and we won't get goodies if we misbehave. That's an example of choosing to be good because of the desire for reward and/or the fear of punishment. In William Golding's classic novel, Lord of the Flies, the character Simon is good for an entirely different reason: it's who he is. He behaves kindly because he's filled with kindness. He is good, because for him, there is simply no other way to exist. One of the ways to interpret Lord of the Flies is as a biblical allegory, a kind of story with a deeper, symbolic meaning or moral. In this reading, Simon takes on Christ-like traits and acts as a moral compass for the rest of the boys as they begin their journey from civilized schoolboys to murderous barbarians. In this lesson, we will analyze the character of Simon as a biblical allegory.

Simon as Selfless

While William Golding never makes a direct connection between his novel and the Bible, there are subtle and not-so-subtle allusions and commonalities that function as a motif in the novel. As an allegorical figure, Simon can be seen as a sort of mystic whose motivations are selfless and act as a counterpoint to the barbarism that soon surrounds him. From the beginning of the novel, we see Simon taking care of the smaller children, comforting them and making sure they are fed:

He ''found for them the fruit they could not reach, pulled off the choicest from up in the foliage, passed them back down to the endless, outstretched hands.''

These actions parallel the biblical Christ's teachings, such as, ''Suffer the little children to come unto me.'' Likewise, Simon is compassionate and caring towards the other boys. When Ralph worries that they will never return to England, Simon comforts him: ''You'll get back to where you came from. . . You'll get back all right. I think so, anyway.''

Simon's Vision and Death

In another comparison to Christ, Simon is prone to going off to the glade in the forest to ponder and meditate upon their surroundings and situation. It's in the glade that Simon confronts the head of the beast (in reality the severed head of the sow murdered by Jack and the hunters), and in a vision, the beast speaks to him:

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