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Metaphysical Analysis of Lord of the Flies (by William Golding) - Analysis of Simon and religious symbols

Updated on June 19, 2013

Lord of the Flies - a metaphysical analysis


In the book “Lord of the Flies”, there are several religious and mystical scenes, descriptions and images.

The Island and the Sea

The island is first described as an idyllic place, nearly utopic! But it is soon to turn into a hell-like place. By the end of the book, the island burns and this image resembles Hell perfectly.

Adding the sea, the whole picture looks a bit different. The island stands for the earth (microcosm) and the sea for heaven or space (macrocosm).

For the boys, the sea is something endless, which goes beyond their horizon. It gets romantic features like longing for the unattainable. The boys know that their homes are behind the sea. But they cannot go home on their own and it remains all an unfulfilled wish.

When Simon and Piggy die, they are taken away by the sea from the island (the boys’ world). One can interpret that their physical bodies are buried in the sea, but their souls entered heaven or the Afterworld.

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The Struggle between Good and Evil

Golding introduces the sentimental, untouched character of Simon and an omnipresent evil force.

Already at the beginning, Simon feels close to nature and even finds a space in the jungle for himself. He is the only person, who thinks about the island and evilness. Moreover, he never really belongs to Ralph’s society and lives practically in his own world. Simon is the counter-part of Piggy in an intellectual context. Piggy is a logical thinker. Simon has a more developed intuition and is sensitive towards things going beyond the logical mind. Therefore, Simon is attributed many spiritual characteristics and symbolises the good human nature. For example, he knows that Ralph will survive the island and go home.

In the mystical scene with the pig’s head, he attains a higher state of awareness and has a disturbing talk. The head, that embodies the idea of the Lord of the flies, talks to him in a disturbing way, It says to Simon that the beast is in all of them. Simon is doomed to die, because obviously, the good will go down. In some way, this also foreshadows Ralph’s downfall.

In the context of the island (the microcosm), evilness is present in all of the boys. In the context of a metphysical world, there might be an evil force, which is only recognized by Simon, This eveil force appears briefly in the last chapter, where Ralph smashes the pig’s head and the split head makes a devilish smile, which is several meters long.

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