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Lord of the Flies Essay

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Keeping Reason

In Lord of the Flies by William Golding a group of English schoolboys are trapped on an island. Though many of the young boys go from civilized to savage, Simon, Piggy and Ralph hang on to their reason. These characters are very reasonable in their own ways; however, the order of the boys from most to least reasonable falls along a continuum.

Simon displays solid reasoning and clear thinking throughout the book. It is his actions that show his personality. Simon is a very kindhearted and diffident boy. He always acts morally. He helps the littluns pick fruit to eat. Simon also helps Ralph build shelter when no one else is helping them. "They're hopeless. The older ones aren't much better. D'you see? All day I've been working with Simon. No one else. They're off bathing, or eating, or playing" (50). Simon knows that being helpful keeps everyone in the community in order. He is very loyal to Ralph and Piggy and he is pleasant to all the boys including Jack. In one part of the book, Jack is being biased towards Piggy. He will not let Piggy have any of the meat to eat. "Ralph stirred uneasily. Simon, sitting between the twins and Piggy, wiped his mouth and shoved his piece of meat over the rocks to Piggy, who grabbed it. The twins giggled and Simon lowered his head in shame" (74). Although this quote shows how Simon is generous, it also shows how incapable of a leader and more of a follower he is. This also shows how considerate he is of Piggy even though he knows that not many of the boys respect him. It seems like Simon's reason keeps the group in order a little whether they know it or not. In another scene Simon actually stands up for Piggy, which shows that he is courageous enough to share his opinions:

Piggy had settled himself in a space between two rocks, and sat with the conch on his knees.

"We haven't made a fire," he said, "what's any use. We couldn't keep a fire like that going, not if we tried."

"A fat lot you tried," said Jack contemptuously. "You just sat."

"We used his specs," said Simon, smearing a black cheek with his forearm. "He helped that way." (42)

The way Simon supports and defends Piggy displays his ability to express his thoughts despite the fact that, again, several of the boys disrespect Piggy. Simon is additionally honest. He even states his own views about the beast. "I don't believe in the beast" (105). He is very logical by stating his opinion. Eventually, Simon figures out what beast really is. Golding writes, "As Simon thought this, he turned to the poor broken thing that sat sinking by his side. The beast was harmless and horrible; and the news must reach the others as soon as possible" (147). Simon immediately knows the truth and wants to tell the group. He believes that if the boys know the reality then everyone will stop fighting with one another. Simon desperately tries to get the news to the others, but while they are all in a violent state of mind, they end up murdering poor Simon. After Simon has been killed, his death is presented as such:

Somewhere over the darkened curve of the world the sun and moon were pulling, and the film of water on the earth planet was held, bulging slightly on one side while the solid core turned. The great wave of the tide moved farther along the island and the water lifted. Softly, surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon's dead body moved out toward the open sea. (154)

Simon's death is being portrayed religiously like Jesus's death. They both die sacrificial deaths. Although Simon had died because the other boys had misconceptions and Jesus was killed because of his beliefs. Unquestionably, Simon is a character that represents peace, tranquility, and of course, reason.

Piggy hangs on to his reason by being sensible. He has so many fantastic ideas, but unluckily no one listens to him, especially Jack. Piggy certainly has more reason than instinct. He thinks very logically, "Life is scientific, that's what it is" (90). Piggy's mindset is not very wide and at the same time he sounds very mature and parent-like. Piggy's mind is actually too mature for the group of boys and creates many misunderstandings. From the first moment when Piggy and everyone else arrives on the island, he thinks of what an adult might have done in this type of situation. He is also the one who finds the conch shell first. Piggy says, "S'right. It's a shell! I seen one like that before. On someone's back wall. A conch he called it. He used to blow it and then his mum would come. It's ever so valuable-" (15). He even comes up with the idea of blowing the conch shell and having a meeting. He tells Ralph, "Ralph! We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They'll come when they hear us" (16). When he comes up with the well thought out ideas Ralph always appears to take them. Piggy does not seem to care, and if he does he never says anything about it. Piggy is very rational and he does predict



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