Character Analysis of Simon

Madi McShan and Linda Castranova

Engagement Activity

Introduction

Simon, unlike the other boys, understands the importance of morality and selflessness. Although they are no longer in a society with parents and rules, Simon still displays respect and discipline, while the rest of the boys act as savages. Simon's intelligence allows him to realize that the beast is not a physical monster on the island, but rather the evil that is in everyone.

Quote

"Simon 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" (Golding 56).

Analysis

Simon has good morals, and is the only boy that reaches out to protect and care for the littleuns. His selflessness is what makes him stand out amongst the others. While the rest of the boys push aside the morals that had once learned from their past lives, Simon continued to act out of kindness and respect. Simon was the most mature of the boys.

Quote

"'Someone's got to go across the island and tell Piggy we'll be back after dark.'

Bill spoke, unbelieving. 'Through the forest by himself? Now?'

'We can't spare more than one.'

Simon pushed his way to Ralph's elbow.

'I'll go if you like. I don't mind, honestly'" (Golding 117).

Analysis

Simon is selfless and is willing to risk danger in order to help the other boys. Since Simon understands that there is no real "beast" on the island, he isn't afraid of what lies in the forrest, because the real beasts are within the boys.

Quote

"Simon, walking in front of Ralph, felt a flicker of incredulity—a beast with claws that scratched, that sat on a mountain-top, that left no tracks and yet was not fast enough to catch Samneric. However Simon thought of the beast, there rose before his inward sight the picture of a human, at once heroic and sick" (Golding 103).

Analysis

Simon was the one who realized that the beast was in everyone. Since he was intellectually and mentally above the other boys, he was rejected and viewed as an outsider and no one understood Simon's point of view. So, when Simon was beaten to death, the boys on the island were oblivious to the fact that they had lost their only source of truth.

Quote

"Fancy thinking the beast was something you could hunt or kill! … You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you? Close, close, close. I'm the reason why it's no go? Why things are what they are?" (Golding 143).

Analysis

Simon was dehydrated and he still had the same physical limitations and effects as the other boys, however he was mentally tougher than the other boys. When the pig head was talking to him it was actually just his own thoughts, not a hallucination, revealing the intelligence that lied within Simon.

Quote

"'What I mean is...maybe it's only us'... Simon's effort fell about him in ruins; the laughter beat him cruelly and he shrank away defenseless to his seat" (Golding 89).

Analysis

When Simon brought about the idea that the boys themselves are the beast, everyone scoffed and laughed at him. Little did they know that Simon knew the truth about them. The boys were oblivious to the knowledge that Simon possessed, and when they later killed Simon, they were killing the only source of truth they had.

Conclusion

Simon is initially portrayed as physically weak, but this is ironic considering he is the most mentally fit. He shows compassion to all the boys, even the littluns, which are considered to be below him. Simon meditated tirelessly the day before he was killed for wrongs that he did not do. Because of all these similarities, many believe Simon to be symbolic of a Christ-figure. Firstly, Simon is the name of one of Jesus's twelve apostles. Jesus said "let the children come to me" and Simon was the only one that would take care of the littluns. Jesus prayed and meditated in mental solitude the night before he was killed, and Simon did the same. Simon, alone, had the knowledge of the beast's, which is representative of Satan, true nature. Simon, like Jesus, had the potential to save the boys from themselves and their fear, and they basically kill him for trying to spread that good news.

Discussion Questions

1. Do you think that Simon is symbolic of Jesus? Why?


2. The boys on the island are supposed to represent a stripped down version of society. How would the story line be different if the boys, specifically Simon, were adults?


3. How does Simon's moral compass set him apart from the rest of the boys?


4. How would the boys have responded if Simon ever got to tell them that the beast lived within each of them? Would the boys have responded differently if they were adults?


5. In Simon's hallucination, he discovers that being afraid of an enemy makes you do such horrific things that you turn into the enemy yourself. How can this be related to nations and governments today?