Lord of the Flies

In the novel, Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, Simon is
the most powerful character. Although he is peaceful and
shy, Simon closely resembles the role of Christ in many of
his ways. He tries to show the boys there is no monster on
the island except the fears that the boys have created in their
minds. During a meeting, Simon shares what he believes is
the truth by saying the beast, "Is only us." When he makes
this announcement, he is ridiculed by the boys, "The laughter
beat him cruelly and he shrank away defenseless to his seat."
This is an uncanny parallel to the misunderstanding that
Christ had to deal with. Later in the story the savage hunters
are chasing a pig. Once they kill the pig, they put its head on
a stick and Simon experiences an epiphany in which he
comes to understand the truth of his theory. As Simon
rushes to the campfire, "Stumbling through the thick sand,"
to tell his discovery to the boys, he is hit in the side with a
spear, his prophecy rejected and the word he wished to
spread ignored. Simon falls to the ground and dies. The
description of his death, the manner in which he died, and
the cause for which he died are remarkably similar to the
circumstances of Christ’s life and ultimate demise. The major
difference is that Christ died on the cross, while Simon was
speared. However, a reader familiar with the Bible may
recall that Christ was stabbed in the side with a spear before
his crucifixion.

A Link to the Outside World

In the novel, Lord of the Flies written by William Golding, a
large spiral shaped sea shell, known as a conch shell,
became crucial for society developed by the surviving boys.
Similarly, in Greek mythology Triton, the son of Neptune,
uses the conch shell to stir or calm the seas. Here, Ralph,
following the instructions of Piggy, uses the shell to subdue
and control the animal spirits of the boys. Living on a small,
unnamed island, with no adult figures, the conch shell
became their symbol of authority. The influence of the conch
kept the children’s hopes of being rescued going, for it
reminded them of the order there was in the world where
they had come from. It seemed to be the only link to the
world of order and civilization. Events that went along with
the finding of the conch shell started with Ralph being named
the chief of the island because he was the first boy to blow
into it, "Making a mooeing noise," he called the first meeting.
Next came the rule, "Whoever held the conch could speak."
This gave some organization and structure to the meetings.
Soon the small society started to separate and chaos was
becoming the consequence. As a result of confusion and
violence in the society, "The conch exploded into a thousand
white fragments," accompanied by Piggy’s death. With the
conch shell destroyed it seemed to mean the end of all their
ties to the outside world and the beginning of the reign of
savages. As Jack said, "There isn’t a tribe for you anymore!
The conch is gone."

Category: Book Reports