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Essay Lord of the Flies


The environment and organisms in a situation can parallel other people and circumstances through extensive imagery, or sense appealing descriptions. At times this correspondence may be found in a spiritual way. In particular, the depiction of light does portray a feeling of holiness or sacredness. By examining the last four paragraphs of Chapter Nine, “A View to Death,” in Lord of the Flies, William Golding makes clear the use of light imagery to suggest the apotheosis of Simon.


The celestial and water light imagery evokes the idea of angelic goodness in Simon as he completes his ascension. They sky and stars seem to be opening up and welcoming the spirit of Simon. The storm ends and the sky becomes “clear” as the “rain ceased and the clouds drifted away,” revealing the beautiful sky. The transition of darkness to light suggests that a horrible event has passed, and goodness has once again been restored. This goodness would be the humble choir boy, Simon. The sky shines with “incredible lamps of stars”, depicting an image of extreme brightness. The brilliance is again seen in the “angular bright constellations” exemplifying the importance of light. The light is present to indicate the natural goodness in Simon, and also implying that Simon may be headed to a better place beyond this universe because he is holy and divine. This place is known many people as heaven, a place with endless light and happiness where people who have lived a life of goodness will be received. The way that the “sun and moon were pulling,” indicates that Simon is being pulled up by light to a greater place beyond, perhaps the modern idea of heaven since he is prophet like and spiritual. The light that is pulling Simon is perhaps God, Jesus, or some other deity because they want Simon to be where he deserves after his life of ultimate kindness. The light imagery used to signify that Simon is a godlike, holy person is not only proved by the sky, but the water as well. The water, with a “streak of phosphorescence” demonstrates that indeed the water is illuminated with brightness and purity. The “clear water” even “mirrored the clear sky”, once again exemplifying the idea of cleanliness and purity. This idea of purification and cleansing in the form of water has been connected with religion for centuries. Baptism, the first sacrament that Christians receive, is conducted by pouring water over the person to restore full holiness. The water all around Simon gives a powerful image of him and his inner superhuman qualities. The water formulates Simon to be depicted a heavenly figure. The “layer of silver” present in the water creates an illustration of brightness and purity, because silver is a pure metal which one would connect with light-colored. The light of the water is described as a “coat of pearls”, and since pearls are known to be a white, lustrous color it can be connected the angelic Simon. The overall effect of the illuminating water cleansing and purifying Simon depicts him as a transcendent, holy figure. The environment, in particular the sky and water, are portrayed by light imagery, which indicates Simon to be a godlike, divine creature.


The creatures and Simon himself do display brightness through the imagery used to give a heavenly and godly image of Simon. The “inquisitive bright creatures” embody his soul as it rises above to where it belongs, as they radiate with light. They are appropriately one of the last parts of Simon’s transfiguration. The “moon-beam bodied creatures” exemplify Simon’s goodness and godlike qualities. The creatures form a parallel between the modern idea of angels, the purpose of existence is to revere and honor the ultimate God, and assist others to join them in their happy world. The creatures seems to be honoring Simon’s body with extreme caution and high-esteem, while they are conducting their ceremony very similar to a funeral. Their “fiery eyes” appear to be intensely bright, since they are obviously venerating and anointing a being whom they highly respected, which add to the divine qualities of Simon. The “moving patch of light” is the creatures, glorifying Simon’s death and what it represents. These illuminating creatures reverence and adoring ways strongly demonstrates that Simon must be a divine and saintly figure. Simon’s body also is illustrated in an essence of light throughout the paragraphs. The creatures “dressed Simon’s coarse hair with brightness”, which gives the illusion of a halo. Halos are present in many religious pictures and icons on the holiest of holy people, demonstrating that perhaps Simon is a superhuman figure as well. Simon’s “cheek silvered” and his shoulder becomes like “sculptured marble,” indicating that is definitely godlike. In ancient Greece, their gods were represented by marble sculptures most of the time. So this intentional detail is added to make Simon in a pure, white, lustrous color and depict himself as a heavenly creature. Simon is described as a “silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations” in the end to emphasize once again the ultimate divinity and his extreme likeness to an angelic, godly creature. Through the images of the creatures and Simon’s body, a picture is created of Simon illustrating him as a blissful, marvelous, sacred being who is going to a better place beyond the universe where he rightfully belongs.


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The light imagery of the sky and water, creatures and Simon’s body, all play a large role in depicting Simon’s ascension as a holy creature. This imagery makes the end of the Chapter and especially moving and powerful scene. Simon is determined at this point to be ultimately a naturally good person, sent to the boys to maybe save them. Golding is suggesting that although there is evil in human nature, there is also an angelic goodness in humans as well.





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