After Simon is killed, the next paragraph begins, “The clouds open and let the rain down like a waterfall” When the boys kill Simon they not only kill him and spirituality, but what they perceive to be the beast. Because the beast was created by them and embodied all of their evils, one of its interpretations can be as mankind’s sin. Simon is very similar to Jesus in this book. The Roman’s ruled the world during Jesus’ life, and now a similar bloodthirsty society rules the island during Simon’s life. Both are killed by such a society, and both sacrifice themselves so that mankind’s sin can be forgiven.
When Simon dies, the rain washes away not only spirituality, but also the beast and all of the sins that accompany it. Golding writes that the water bounded from the mountaintop. Because the mountain top represented the peak of society, this could be interpreted to state that all of society carries sin, even the glorious moments of it, and that Simon’s sacrifice was extended to the boys’ entire stay on the island and the sin that was committed during that period of time. This is also similar to Jesus’ sacrifice that was for all of mankind’s sins, not just the sins of the Roman society that killed him.
After Simon has been killed, the figures stagger away. By referring to the boys as figures, they are no longer individuals, but the nameless men who are the vehicle that society uses to carry out its evil deeds. It is no longer of relevance who did what because it was the entire society that killed Simon. This can be related to other societies, such as Nazi Germany. Today Hitler is credited with most of the responsibility for World War II. We do not like to blame German society for it because that would mean that we are also capable of this if we had to endure the circumstances of 1940’s Germany.
We cannot blame the German race for these problems, as they are a characteristic of humanity. We fought World War II against the forces of racism, but we ourselves treated the Japanese very poorly while all of this was going on. Although we too went through the depression, we did not have the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles against us. When any society has such horrible circumstances, they tend to look for a scapegoat, such as a race of people. If Hitler did not enjoy such great public support he would not have come to power. It is also very difficult for a nation to declare war without public support.
It is therefore significant that figures staggered away because it was the whole society, and not just Jack who killed Simon. It is also interesting to note that during the course of this book the boys’ civilization falls from glory. They then create a beast as a scapegoat, claiming that they can no longer climb the mountain, and therefore return to the glory of their civilization because of it. When Simon dies Golding refers to him as the beast. This not only can be interpreted by the Jesus theory as stated above, but by a new theory that establishes Simon as society’s scapegoat.
It can also be interpreted to state that the beast is all of mankind’s gifts such as spirituality, when they are suppressed and murdered by society, crippling its ability to function. When Simon is killed he lays still only a few yards from sea. It is important to know that all life originates from the sea, where it arose in primitive form. This is significant for two reasons; it tells us that spirituality is an ancient and instinctive trait of man, and that the boys society, that came away from the mountain (peak of society) and towards the ocean to kill Simon, had returned from civilization to a more primitive and savage form in doing so.
Because the beast (Simon) is small, society’s problem is not the beast itself, but the way it is dealt with. When Simon’s blood stains the sand, his death and the savage society that killed him forever taint the island. No matter what might happen in the future, Simon will always be dead and because of the blood in the sand this cannot be forgotten. The sand and ultimately the island being stained with blood also have meaning. Because the society as inhabits the island, the island can be used to represent society as a whole, which is has been stained by its own atrocities.
During the storm the parachute is filled with rain and swept off the island. The parachute is a symbol of Ralph, Simon, and Piggy’s attempt to prevent the old ways of society and civility from dying. Piggy and Ralph were part of the savage murder; therefore this society has assimilated them and destroyed their efforts to maintain a civilized society. Simon has now been killed and therefore their efforts and civility can no longer be maintained. The parachute then, tells us that civility has not only been destroyed, but all attempts to salvage what old society values remain, have ceased and that the entire society has become completely savage.