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Lord of the Flies

William Golding

Chapter 9

Summary Chapter 9

In a sense, Simon’s murder is an almost inevitable outcome of his encounter with the Lord of the Flies in Chapter 8. During the confrontation in the previous chapter, the Lord of the Flies foreshadows Simon’s death by promising to have some “fun” with him. Although Simon’s vision teaches him that the beast exists inside all human beings, his confrontation with the beast is not complete until he comes face-to-face with the beast that exists within the other boys. Indeed, when the boys kill Simon, they are acting on the savage instinct that the beast represents. Additionally, the manner of Simon’s death continues the parallels between Simon and Jesus: both die sacrificial deaths after learning profound truths about human morality. But Simon’s death differs from Jesus’ in ways that complicate the idea that Simon is simply a Christ figure. Although Jesus and Simon both die sacrificial deaths, Jesus was killed for his beliefs, whereas Simon is killed because of the other boys’ delusions. Jesus died after conveying his message to the world, whereas Simon dies before he is able to speak to the boys. In the biblical tradition, Jesus dies to alleviate the burden of mankind’s sin; Simon’s death, on the other hand, simply intensifies the burden of sin pressing down upon the island. According to the Bible, Jesus’ death shows others the way to salvation; Simon’s death exemplifies the power of evil within the human soul.