Simon’s Death in “Lord of the Flies” Essay Sample
Golding uses the death of Simon to portray a death of goodness on the island and in the boys. This essay will explore how, with the use of language and imagery, how Golding shows this in chapter 9 of “Lord of the Flies”.
Golding uses the weather and the technique of pathetic fallacy throughout the chapter to show the build up of tension on the island and then a release of all the built up tension. At the beginning of the chapter, Golding describes the clouds gathering, “Over the island the build-up of clouds continued” the clouds represent the boys’ savagery starting to grow. Then later in the chapter, “Piggy inspected the looming sky”, the evil continues to build up, and then, it all breaks, after a gathering of evil, the evil breaks loose, “Between the flashes of lightening, the air was dark and terrible”. In this terrible frenzy, the sin of murder is committed. The extremity of the weather reflects the extremity of the boys’ actions and their savagery. After Simon has been killed the weather is described as lighter, “Towards midnight, the rain ceased and the clouds drifted away” the intensity of before has finished and swept away the evil, although perhaps only temporarily…
Golding uses horrific language to show the savagery of the boys in this frenzy, “Screamed, struck, bit, tore” these strong verbs give us a sense of the evil being done. It also shows that the savagery of the boys has been building up since they arrived at the island; it is not a recent thing and because of how, when the pressure is released, almost like a volcano they lose complete control and the anger erupts, “the mouth of the new circle crunched and screamed”. Again, powerful verbs are used to convey the terror and violence and the terrible release of pressure against an innocent being.
The image of the scar that Golding creates in “Lord of the Flies” symbolises the damage they are doing not only to the island but to themselves, “The dark sky was shattered by a white-blue scar”. A scar is a permanent impact that will never go away, “The blue-white scar was constant” once the boys have murdered; they will not be able to undo their actions but must continue how they have started, in a terrible way. The scar shows that they have crossed a significant line towards complete savagery. By killing a human being they have taken away any trace of laws, meaning that they are no longer confined to the real world and are free to kill and murder again without any effect on the conscience – because they have no longer a sense of right or wrong.
In trying to kill the beast all they have achieved is to kill the only enemy of the beast, in doing so strengthening their beast, “Another desire arose, thick, urgent, blind”. This means that by strengthening the beast the savage part of them is able to take control, making them bloodthirsty to kill again.
Simon is described by Golding using God-like terms, “Passions beat about Simon on the mountain-top with awful wings”. He has an un-earthly quality that the other boys do not posses. Golding shows the death of goodness on the island by the image that he creates Simon to be in, “the beast was on it’s knees in the centre, its arms folded over its face”, Simon cannot defend himself against the brutality of the boys and so folds his arms over his face so as to protect his face and his eyes, meaning he cannot see the evil as he cannot understand evil or the other boys motives.
The death of hope is also shown by the weakness of Simon, “He walked with a glum determination like an old man”, Simon is the biggest enemy of the beast and he is unable to defend himself, he is hopeless against the strength of the boys and the beast. The limits of Simon, and therefore goodness, are shown by Simon’s inability to find words and communicate his ideas, “It was crying against the abominable noise something about a body on a hill”, the boys do not understand Simon as he is unable to convey his ideas. This flaw is his ultimate weakness and results in the boys, instead of realising that the beast was nothing but a parachute man, end up killing the opposite of the beast, Simon.
Later in the novel, Golding uses the stain on the island to symbolise how when the boys kill, they damage the island and themselves, “and already it’s blood was staining the sand”, the stain is also on the boys and has a lasting effect. It also symbolises that they are damaging the island as they are damaging themselves by strengthening the beast. The stain also shows what little is left of pure goodness; Simon was the largest hope of goodness and now he is no more than a stain of blood on the sand. This shows how little hope is left for goodness to triumph against evil.
Therefore Golding’s use of powerful language and imagery conveys the tragic death of hope and goodness through the death of Simon, a figure of pure goodness.