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Fear And Ignorance: The Worst Of All Evils

921 words - 4 pages

Fear releases evil within man’s heart. In William Golding's novel, Lord of the Flies, British schoolboys become castaways on an uninhabited island. As the boys live on the island, rumors of a beast circulate, bringing to light the boys’ inner savagery. The boys' moral degradation becomes even more apparent when they are compared to Simon, a pure soul who, despite suffering from epilepsy, treks up a dangerous mountain to discover the truth about the beast. Religious symbols, such as Simon, the Lord of the Flies, and the setting, show that when good and evil collide, fear and ignorance become dangerous enemies of reason.
Simon emerges as a Christ figure who confronts his fears and inner evil and by doing so, becomes stronger spiritually than the rest of the boys. Despite physical weakness, Simon exhibits enormous personal courage and purity, qualities often associated with Jesus Christ. Just like Jesus Christ, Simon presents himself as a helper and aide from the start, especially towards the younger boys. Simon often leaves the others to go off by himself after a hard day, though he often stops to help the littleuns “[finding] for them the fruit they [can] not reach, [pulling] off the choicest from up in the foliage, [passing] them back down to endless outstretched hands” (55), similar to Jesus feeding the hungry throughout the Bible. Simon's courage in the face of his own fear and evil nature leads him up the mountain to discover the truth about the beast. Before he may confront the beast, however, Simon must face his own fears and defeat the evil within him. He does so, denouncing the authority of the Lord of the Flies, his inner evil, and labeling him only a "pig's head on a stick" (147). After waking, though he "[staggers] sometimes with his weariness" (149), Simon forces himself up the mountain, discovering only a corpse. Despite his own hardship, Simon works to free the parachutist because he feels sorry for the man it used to be. His new knowledge gives him the strength to drag his poor abused body down the mountain again. His independent thinking and willpower appears far greater than that of the other boys, who eventually come under the control of Jack and Roger.
The Lord of the Flies represents Simon's inner evil and appears through the boys' fears. The sow's head first appears as an offering made by Jack and the other savages to protect the tribe from the beast. However, through Simon's eyes, the Lord of the Flies becomes a personification of his own inner evil, and depicts the age old conflict of good and evil. The Lord of the Flies tries in vain to tempt Simon to give in to his humanity, a tactic Satan uses in his temptation of Jesus in...

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