The End of Innocence in Lord of the Flies

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The End of Innocence in Lord of the Flies William Golding wrote the novel Lord of the Flies "to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature."(Golding) He wanted to show that humans naturally live in savagery and ignorance with little knowledge on how to live together peacefully. To accomplish his premise Golding strands a group of boys on an island who then must set up government in an attempt to survive. The story uses heavy symbolism to compare the life on the island to the entire civilization of the world. Each character on the island represents one aspect of civilized society; those who represent uninhibited man survive and those who represent intellectual or spiritual man die. One of the more terrifying deaths is that of Simon who symbolizes the spiritual side of humanity. Simon is a prophet. He alone saw what the others were becoming and he alone knew that the beast, feared by all the children, was in fact humanities own inner savagery. Fear was the driving force on the island, it was this fear that kept Simon from telling the others of the "true beast", he knew that if he told them they would turn against him. All through the book Simon is one of the few boys who works for the good of the group and never runs off during a job to go have fun. Simon sincerely cares about the other boys. He often helps the "littluns" retrieve the quality fruit from high in the trees, yet "Simon turned away from them and went where the jest perceptible path led him."(61) Simon loves his solitude, he often wonders off into the jungle to be alone. "The assembly grinned at the thought of going out into the darkness. Then Simon stood up and Ralph looked at him in astonishment."(93) Sim... ... middle of paper ... ...arked in a ritual and primitive dance. When the barely visible Simon came down from the mountain to tell the others of his discovery, he was thought to be the beast. As Simon emerged from the trees a mob of wild boys attacked and killed him. When the other boys learn what they had done they deny fault: " 'It was an accident,' said Piggy suddenly ... 'He hadn't no business crawling like that out of the dark.'"(173) When Simon dies so does the truth, he is unable to tell the others about the true identity of the beast. The boys on the island foolishly destroy any attempts to be saved and unknowingly destroy the one person that could bring them salvation. Simons death shows evil is often victorious over the dwindling fight for order. With order lost the thin veneer, which is civilization, erodes and mankind revert back to his ancient primitiveness.
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