Elsewhere, Emma-Louise said: “Sir, you still haven’t answered my question. I got completly lost at the part of Lord of the Flies when Simon starts talking to a giant fly. Is it a figment or not? =-S”
Sorry Emma, your posting was tucked away at the bottom of this blog, so I must admit I forgot about it. First of all, there’s no indication that Simon’s talking to a giant fly: it’s the pig’s head on a stick, also referred to as ‘Lord of the Flies’, and if I recall correctly Simon doesn’t say anything, it’s just the Lord of the Flies that talks to him.
As to whether it’s ‘a figment’ of Simon’s imagination or whatever, if there were a straightforward and unequivocal answer to that, it would be because Golding had chosen to make it clear. As he didn’t make that choice we have to live with the ambiguity, and consider its significance. I guess the main possibilities I can think of are:
- It is just a figment of Simon’s imagination: he is ‘thinking to himself’ imagining what ‘the lord of the flies’ might say.
- It is some kind of hallucination, perhaps brought on by something like an epileptic fit (remember that Simon is introduced as someone who ‘faints’ a lot).
- It is a supernatural event: some kind of being (the devil?) is speaking to Simon through the medium of the pig’s head.
I’m going to leave it there for now. All three of these are plausible, I think (and there may be other possibilities). Which you choose, and whether you choose, will depend to some degree on a range of factors such as the picture of Simon’s character you have built up from the story; the angle you take on the themes and significance of the novel, and so on.
Now: I’ll leave it to you (and that includes both Year 10 & 11) to pick up the discussion and take it further. Comments please…