Parallels Between the Lives of Simon and Jesus Christ in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies
First published in 1954 Lord of the Flies received some of the best reviews of any first novel of its time. This book is full of symbolism, still applicable today. In this essay will look at the similarities between the characteristics of Simon and Jesus and the similar events and the surrounding circumstances. Similarities of Characteristics
One of the central themes in Golding’s Lord of the Flies is the presence of a ‘Christ-like’ figure, Simon. Golding reveals similarities between Simon, one of the choir-boys , and Jesus Christ as the novel progresses. This section will take a look at three of the main similarities. These similarities being: periodic social withdrawal, a selfless attitude, and an understanding of things as a whole.
Simon is often said to go to “A place in the jungle.”(Golding 85) to be alone. In the same way, Jesus “often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”(New Living Translation, Luke 5:16). Both would willingly withdraw themselves, to be alone. Even though Simon is eventually rejected by Jack, self proclaimed leader of the choir turned hunters; he shows acceptance is not his top priority when he continues to withdraw from the others despite what they think.
Both Jesus and Simon display their selflessness by going out of their way to help others. Simon stayed to help Ralph, the elected chief of the island, build huts when all of the other boys had left. Shortly after, Simon again displays his selflessness when he fed the littluns:
“Simon found for them the fruit they could not reach, pulled off the choicest from up in the foliage, passed them back down to the endless outstretched hands. When he had satisfied them he paused...” (Golding 56) Simon was not at all required to perform this service, yet he did. Even going as far as giving them the best he could give. Jesus’ whole life was spent in service to others.
Golding tells us “However Simon thought of the beast, there rose before his inward sight the picture of a human...” (103) Simon is shown to posses an understanding; a view of all the events on the island as a whole. Simon even tries to explain to the others “maybe there is a beast...maybe it’s only us.”(Golding 89). Jesus receives the same reaction from his disciples when he tells them of his imminent death and resurrection (Mark 9.31-32).
The main similarities between the character of Jesus Christ and William Golding’s Simon should now be evident; both made a point to periodically withdraw themselves from others in order to be alone, showed a concern for the well-fare of others, and both exhibited a remarkable understanding of things as a whole. Similarities of Events and the Surrounding Circumstances
In this novel there are several specific events which further the view of Simon as a Christ figure in William Golding’s Lord of the flies. This section will look at two main events from Golding’s novel, and show the similarities between the experiences of Simon and Jesus. We will first look at the actions of Simon during and after his feeding of the littluns. Second is a comparison of the death of both Jesus and Simon.
Simon feeding the littluns before continuing on to his quiet place; is one of the best examples of the similarity of events between Christ’s and Simons’ lives. It is on his way to his quiet place Simon meets the needs of the littluns. Jesus and his disciples were also on their way to “...a quieter spot” (Mark 6.32) when people who had followed him caught up with them. Simon was also confronted by followers, “Here [referring to the fruit grove] the littluns who had run after him caught up with him.”(Golding 56) and proceeded to obtain the best fruit for them. Here Golding makes an interesting remark about the fruit: “...where the least energetic could find an easy if unsatisfying meal.”(Golding 56) Yet we see Simon puts forth the...