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William Golding's Lord of the Flies

Even before Simon discovers the beast to be a dead man entangled in a parachute, his "inward sight" produces an image of the beast as "a human at once heroic and sick" (Golding 103). In his essay, "Why It's No Go," James R. Baker analyzes interprets Simon's confrontation with the beast: "In the hours of one powerfully symbolic afternoon, Simon sees the perennial fall which is the central reality of our history: the defeat of reason and the release of Dionysian madness in souls wounded by fear" (27). Simon goes down the mountain to inform the others that the beast is "harmless and horrible" (Golding 147). In his book, William Golding, Bernard F. Dick notes that Simon's choice of adjectives can also be used to describe "irrational fear (harmless) and its effects (horrible)" (24). Driven by irrational fear, the boys become "beasts" and murder Simon before he delivers the truth to them: "There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws" (Golding 153). Simon is the one person who has the potential to "save" the other boys from their destructive behavior, and the "true source" of his ironic and tragic murder is "in the defects of the species" (Baker 28).

Ralph and Jack are typically considered antithetical: Ralph is rational and hopes to preserve an ordered society on the island; Jack is irrational and focuses his energies on hunting and killing. Bernard F. Dick argues that Ralph and Jack are not absolutely antithetical, and that the forces they represent are better understood in terms of a moral "polarity" (7). Although Ralph struggles to maintain order on the island, he is also subject to the basic defects of human nature and succumbs to the pressure of "fear and blood lust" under certain circumstances (Hynes 16). Ralph is conscious of a tension within his being, but he does not fully understand it or have the ability to articulate it. He admits to Piggy that he "'somtimes'" doesn't care about ...

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William Golding's Lord of the Flies. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:33, August 20, 2017, from
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