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Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies


by William Golding

Simon Timeline and Summary

  • Before we know Simon’s name, we see him faint while under the leadership of Jack Merridew.
  • Ralph, Jack and Simon go off to explore the island.
  • While Jack is hunting, Ralph and Simon try to build two shelters out of palm trunks and leaves.
  • Later, Simon walks around on the island with the littluns following him. He helps them pick some fruit and then goes into the jungle by himself.
  • Simon comes to a place where “the creepers had woven a great mat that hung at the side of an open space in the jungle.”
  • He crawls inside this space and peers out at the clearing.
  • Evening is coming and he watches the birds and butterflies.
  • Then he sits back in the small space and stays there by himself as night falls, just thinking.
  • More time has passed. Ralph, Simon, and Piggy are trying to build shelters and keep the signal fire going.
  • Jack goes off to hunt again and meanwhile, back at the lagoon, Ralph, Simon and Piggy are swimming along with a boy named Maurice.
  • After Jack punches Piggy in the face, Simon finds Piggy’s glasses and reveals that a lens is broken.
  • When the littluns discuss their fears of the beast at Ralph’s assembly, Simon makes a comment on “mankind’s essential illness,” stating that the beast is “only us.”
  • Simon tries to further his point by asking, “What’s the dirtiest thing there is?” As the boys laugh, Simon gives up on his effort to make them think about themselves and sits down in defeat.
  • As Ralph despairs, Simon tries to convince him to go on being chief.
  • Simon walks along with Jack and Ralph while they search for the beast, feeling doubtful that there is such a creature as the one Sam and Eric described. Instead, he can’t help imagining “a picture of a human, at once heroic and sick.”
  • As Ralph stares out into the ocean, Simon speaks into his ear, “You’ll get back all right.”
  • Ralph thinks Simon is batty and says so, but still, he is somehow comforted by this – the boys smile at each other.
  • The sun is setting and Simon volunteers to go off through the jungle to tell Piggy that they won’t be back until after dark (the rest of them are too scared to walk around in the jungle at night by themselves).
  • While the boys discuss the beast they have seen, Simon says that they should go up the mountain and face it. No one agrees with him.
  • Simon goes off into the jungle by himself to once again sit behind the great woven mat of creepers.
  • He is very thirsty, but he just stays there, hidden in his cave of vines.
  • Simon watches from behind his mat of creepers while Jack and his crew kill the mother pig and mount her head on a stick.
  • Simon stares at the black blob of guts that the boys have piled on the ground. The mess is covered with buzzing flies.
  • The flies gather on Simon’s hot, sweaty face.
  • As the flies crawl over him, Simon stares at the impaled head, which he thinks of as the “Lord of the Flies.” He watches as it hangs on its stick, grinning.
  • Simon isn’t doing too well. He’s been sitting in his little “cave” for what we can only guess is a really, really long time. His tongue is swollen, and he’s hallucinating that he’s having a conversation with the impaled pig’s head, the “Lord of the Flies.”
  • The Lord of the Flies says frightening things to Simon about the fact that he is alone and that there’s no one to help him. “Only me,” the pig’s head says. “And I’m the Beast.”
  • The Lord of the Flies then asks Simon, “Didn’t you know I’m part of you?” It threatens that the others will “do” him.
  • Simon feels that “one of his times is coming on” and that he’s falling into a “vast mouth.” He is consumed by blackness, and he loses consciousness.
  • Simon has a bloody nose while unconscious.
  • When he wakes, The Lord of the Flies is still hanging on his stick “like a black ball.”
  • With dried blood covering his mouth and chin, Simon staggers out of his hiding place and begins making his way up the mountain, still intending to face the beast.
  • When he gets to the top, he sees that the beast that everyone has been so afraid of is actually just a dead body attached to a parachute, the lines tangled in the rocks.
  • Simon pukes up everything and then frees the parachute lines from the rocks.
  • He looks down at the fire on the beach and realizes he must tell the others that the “beast,” although horrible, is harmless.
  • He staggers downward, almost collapsing with each step.
  • Down at the party, the boys have worked themselves into a wild frenzy. This is right about the moment when Simon staggers into the center, crying out something about a “dead man on a hill.”
  • Pouncing on Simon, the boys scream, strike, bite, tear, and generally destroy him. Simon is dead.
  • Rain pours down and the boys straggle away, leaving the pitiful heap that is Simon lying in the dirt, his blood “staining the sand.”
  • Eventually the rain ceases, and as the water rises under the moon, “Simon’s dead body [moves] out toward the open sea.”