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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Lord of the Flies by William Golding-Free Summary
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The mob seeks the pure thrill of killing. "Out of the terror rose another desire, thick, urgent, blind." The boys can deal with their fear of a beast more powerful than they are only by turning their terror against a creature weaker than they are. This is what Jack has done to Piggy throughout the story; it is what he has taught the boys.

A "thing" crawls out of the jungle, and they seize on it. "The beast was on its knees in the center, its arms folded over its face. It was crying out... about a body on the hill." The beast is Simon and the boys kill him with their sticks.

Immediately the rain begins to fall, and as the boys scatter they "see how small a beast it was." Once the lust for blood has been satisfied, madness recedes and conscience returns. And nature sends down fresh, cool rain that is like a cleansing.


Simon is approached by waves streaked with "moonbeam- bodied creatures with fiery eyes." In the book's most lyrical and most beautiful passage, nature seems to pay tribute to Simon. He is carried out to sea, his coarse hair "dressed... with brightness. The line of his cheek silvered and the turn of his shoulder became sculptured marble." As the creatures carry him off, Simon's mouth emits an ugly bubble, a gasp that reminds us that a murder has taken place and that nature doesn't really care about man.

The point of view, which has been very close to the earth, the boys' fear, Simon's murder, now pulls back. "Somewhere over the darkened curve of the world the sun and moon were pulling." Simon is being pulled out to sea in a graceful sweep of ocean waves, but Simon is also dead. There is both beauty and ugliness in the world. Both are a part of existence; one cannot be denied for the other. Both are there, both are necessary. This is life and this is what Simon understood that no one else on the island can come to terms with.

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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Lord of the Flies by William Golding-Free Summary
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