When left to its own devices and given the opportunity, human nature will revert back to the inherent savagery that lies within everyone. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies this theme becomes apparent when, after a plane crash, a band of young boys are left stranded on an island. Without the guidance of adults and the structure of society the boys become lawless and barbaric. Chapter nine marks the turning point in the novel where the climax occurs with the killing of Simon. In the last four paragraphs of chapter nine, “A View to Death” Golding uses light imagery of the sky, the water creatures and Simons’ body to show the apotheosis of Simon.
Golding uses light imagery of the sky to show the apotheosis of Simon. At the storms worst point, Simon’s death occurs. Afterwards “The clouds drifted away, so that the sky was scattered once more with the incredible lamps of stars.” This storm and its ending at Simons’ death parallels the storm that took place during the crucifixion of Christ on the cross. When Simon is killed during the boys’ crazy dance he undergoes extreme pain and suffering, his crucifixion. “The clear water mirrors the clear sky and the angular bright constellations.” The unending reflection of the light from the stars to the clear surface of the water symbolizes quintessence, a fifth element that permeates nature and space. This fifth dimension is representative of a space beyond which the human mind can fathom, heaven. “Over the darkened curve of the world the sun and moon were pulling, and the film of water on the earth was held,” the pulling of the sun and moon illustrates Simon’s rise to heaven. Just as the earth’s gravity pulls at the moon and the Sun’s gravity pulls at the earth a larger, higher power pulls Simon’s body to heaven, his ascension.
Golding also uses the light imagery of the water to show how Simon is a Christ-like figure.