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How does Golding present Simon as different from the other boys in Lord of the Flies?

In Golding’s novel, the use of descriptive and metaphoric literary devices is employed as a way of demonstrating the character of Simon and how he is different from the other members of the group. In the opening introduction of Simon, he is seen fainting amongst the group, “the choir boy who had fainted sat up against a palm trunk, smiled pallidly at Ralph and said that his name was Simon”, which evokes a reaction of disgust and dislike from the other characters of Jack and his group of boys. The use of fainting shows the fragility and weakness of the character and attaches these connotations to Simon, a total juxtaposition to Jack who is portrayed as being strong and ‘heroic’. Simon’s episodes of fainting are constant within the novel, usually occurring in times of stress and uncertainty, this offers the possibility that the use of fainting is a way to demonstrate Simon’s emotional state as well as his physical state. Golding writes Simon as being unable to process stressful scenarios and this leads one to believe that it is a metaphor for being unable to handle the massive emotional situations the young boy is experiencing. 
Another way in which Golding shows the character of Simon as being different is through the use of animal imagery. The use of butterflies in chapter eight, “He [Simon] went on among the creepers [...] sunlight pelted down and the butterflies danced in the middle their unending dance”, allows the character to be seen as gentle, fragile and unique, all connotations of butterflies. By comparing Simon to butterflies Golding is openly showing the young boy is weaker than his peers and, as such, clearly shows the difference of the character.

Answered by Megan B. English tutor

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