Lord of the Flies

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Simon Character Analysis

A dreamy, dark haired boy, prone to fainting spells and occasional fits. Simon is the only member of Jack's chorus who doesn't become a hunter. The most generous of the biguns, Simon helps Ralph build the shelters not out of a sense of duty, but because he wants to. Simon is also the most insightful and in many ways the bravest of the boys. Only Simon recognizes that the boys carry the beast within themselves; only Simon suggests that they confront the "beast" by climbing the mountain; and only Simon is unafraid when alone in the jungle. Some critics have called Simon a symbol of Jesus Christ, but his symbolic role is actually more general. With his fits and spiritual insights, he stands for the mystics, prophets, and priests of all religions who confront and reveal the darkest aspects of human nature.

Simon Quotes in Lord of the Flies

The Lord of the Flies quotes below are all either spoken by Simon or refer to Simon. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Human Nature Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Books edition of Lord of the Flies published in 2003.
Chapter 5 Quotes
What I mean is... Maybe it's only us...
Related Characters: Simon (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Lord of the Flies (the Beast)
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:

In this section, we meet Simon, a shy, young boy who nonetheless seems preternaturally wise (and a kind of Christ-figure, as we later see). Simon and the other boys on the island are talking, once again, about the beast--the mysterious monster that supposedly endangers the boys' lives. While most of the boys believe that the beast is an external object, Simon suggests that it's actually a product of the boys' imagination.

It's important to understand what Simon means. Simon isn't saying that the boys are hallucinating or imagining the beast. Rather, he's suggesting that the greatest dangers on the island (the greatest source of violence and destruction) isn't a beast at all--it's the boys themselves. From what we've already seen, Simon has a point: the boys kill animals, hurt each other, set the trees on fire, and generally destroy everything in their path. The boys exemplify man's capacity to destroy, and to enjoy destruction--and this is the real "beast" that Simon alludes to.

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Lord of the Flies quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 8 Quotes
There isn't anyone to help you. Only me. And I'm the Beast... Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and 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 the way they are?
Related Characters: Simon
Related Symbols: The Lord of the Flies (the Beast)
Page Number: 143
Explanation and Analysis:

In this dreamlike scene, Simon hallucinates an encounter with "the Beast." At first, Simon notices the sight of a pig's head on a stick, covered in flies. As he falls into a trance state, Simon finds himself talking to the pig's head. The head claims that it is the Beast to which the other boys have been alluding all along. Strangely, the Beast claims that it was foolish for the other boys to believe that it was an external object, one that could be hunted and killed.

The passage confirms what Simon had already suspected--the supposed "beast" isn't a living animal at all; it's the collective spirit of the boys' violence and brutality, the potential for evil and savagery that lives inside all humans. Jack and his followers have discovered something within themselves--a strong desire to hurt and kill. This desire, which is uniquely human, yet suppressed within most of human society, is precisely what the pig's head embodies.

The paradox of this passage is that although the Beast insists that it's not a material thing at all, it is a material thing in the passage--it's a head on a stick. It would be a huge mistake to take the passage too literally. Simon is horrified by the sight of the pig's head, but he understands that the head itself is only a form that the Beast takes in his imagination. In reality, the Beast has no form whatsoever--it's the "heart of darkness" that lies inside all human beings.

Get the entire Lord of the Flies LitChart as a printable PDF.
Lord of the flies.pdf.medium

Simon Character Timeline in Lord of the Flies

The timeline below shows where the character Simon appears in Lord of the Flies. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Human Nature Theme Icon
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...who tries to take control of the meeting. One of the boys in the choir, Simon, faints. Jack soon tells Piggy to shut up, and calls him "Fatty." Ralph gleefully reveals... (full context)
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
...will both go, of course. Ralph ignores Piggy's whining pleas to be included, and picks Simon to be the third explorer. Ralph, Jack, and Simon have a great time exploring, and... (full context)
Chapter 2
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...wood is so dry. Piggy starts to criticize the boys, but Jack shouts him down. Simon points out that Piggy's glasses made the fire possible. (full context)
Chapter 3
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
On the beach, Ralph and Simon are building huts. Ralph is frustrated because only he and Simon are working on the... (full context)
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
Ralph says they need shelters because many of the boys are scared. Simon observes that it is as if the island is bad, not the good island Ralph... (full context)
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
Simon slips away into the forest. He helps some of the younger boys gather fruit, then... (full context)
Chapter 4
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
They cook the pig, but Jack refuses to give Piggy any meat. Simon shares with Piggy. (full context)
Chapter 5
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
...and says he saw the beast in the forest the previous night. To everyone's shock, Simon says the boy probably just saw him—Simon went walking in the forest that night. (full context)
Civilization Theme Icon
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
Simon takes the conch. He says maybe the boys themselves are the beast. Piggy thinks this... (full context)
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...and kill it. He starts a chant on the beach. Everyone but Ralph, Piggy, and Simon join him. (full context)
Chapter 7
Human Nature Theme Icon
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
...ocean and thinks how big it is and how it separates the boys from civilization. Simon seems to read Ralph's mind, and reassures him. "You'll get back alright," he says. (full context)
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...to tell Piggy they won't be back that night. Everyone's too frightened to volunteer, except Simon. (full context)
Chapter 8
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
...when he hunts. He disappears into the forest. Everyone is stunned, but the meeting continues. Simon suggests they climb the mountain. Piggy considers the suggestion insane. He says they should just... (full context)
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
Simon has wandered alone into the forest. He enters a secret glade and sits there in... (full context)
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
Simon witnesses the killing and staking of the pig from his secret spot in the glade.... (full context)
Human Nature Theme Icon
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
Simon is on the verge of having a fit in the forest. The pig's head, the... (full context)
Chapter 9
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
Simon wakes as a storm gathers over the island. He climbs the mountain even though he's... (full context)
Human Nature Theme Icon
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Suddenly, Simon staggers from the forest, shouting the news about the dead parachutist. In their frenzied dance,... (full context)