Simon as Christ in Lord of the Flies
The role of the prophet changes with the society in which he lives. In modern society, a prophet is a visionary, telling people what they can become; in Biblical times, a prophet was the voice of God, telling his people what they had to become to fulfill their covenant with God. In William Golding's Lord of the Flies, the prophet is a peaceful lad, Simon. He alone saw that the jungle, which represented freedom and the lack of civilization, was not to be feared but to be understood; he alone knew that the mythical Beast of the island, feared by all the boys, was, in fact, their own inherent savagery. Through these truths Simon represents a Christ figure paralleling Christ's misunderstood message and Christ's death.
Simon was the observant character, the quiet philosopher. He was often alone, sometimes by his own choice, and he liked to wander into the peaceful jungle. He sincerely cared about the other boys, sometimes helping the young ones to fetch fruit, yet "Simon turned away from them and went where the just perceptible path led him. Soon high jungle closed in" (56). He loved solitude and yet felt loneliness; he was alien to the other boys. The boys did not think anyone would be stupid enough to go into the jungle by night: "The assembly grinned at the thought of going out into the darkness. Then Simon stood up and Ralph looked at him in astonishment" (85). Many of the boys even thought he was "batty" because he left the group to spend time alone.
He did not fear the jungle, and he did not fear the Beast. "Maybe,' he said hesitantly, 'maybe there is a beast . . . maybe it's only us" (89). The Beast takes many forms in the boys' imaginations; once, they saw a strange shape moving at the top of a mountain, and they were afraid that it was the Beast. No one dared to go near it save Simon, who went alone to the mountaintop during one of his sojourns; he discovered that the Beast was only a dead parachuter whose gear shifted in the wind. Ironically, the dead man was a soldier, a symbol of the savagery that was the true Beast. However, Simon's compassion showed again as he braved the stench to cut the parachute from the corpse; he laid the Beast to rest. With this act of his pensive and generous nature, he proved what a good leader he could have been.
Simon tries to state the truth: there is a beast, but that "it's only us" (page #)....