When one reads and finishes Lord of the Flies, a bitter taste is left in the mouth when the characters Piggy and Simon die. The bitter taste isn’t from how they died, but rather that they died in the first place.
For those unfamiliar, the novel is about a group of boys that are stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes on to the island. In the beginning, a kind but naive boy named Ralph leads the group of about 20-30 boys, however over a time a sinister and sadistic boy named Jack starts to usurp power from Ralph. By the end of novel, he essentially turned a group of choir boys into savages, aside from Ralph.
The way Jack went about doing this was through his tribal ritualistic cult of the “hunt”, where he would savagely hunt and kill hogs as a sport. The hunts would usually spark a frenzy of sorts among the boys, and slowly but surely the darkness in their hearts started to manifest under the tutelage of Jack. Eventually, from his hunts, Jack gains control and becomes Chief of his tribe, where he sadistically bullies Piggy, with Piggy eventually being killed when someone drops a boulder on his head for talking. Simon is mistaken for the “beast”, which was a dead parachutist in a tree that was mistaken for a monster. Simon is killed by the ravenous tribe by the error.
Shortly before his death however, Simon encountered a sows head impaled on a spear, and went into a trance like state where he spoke with it. The Sows head said that Simon would never escape him, because he is in everyone’s heart. The Sow’s head has been widely considered the devil, as the Lord of the Flies translates from Beelzebub, who was the devil. Furthermore, the “beast” has been construed as being a metaphor for the fear and hatred within human hearts.
The Lord of the flies was published around 1954, and served on an interdisciplinary as being a multi cultural piece. The book focuses heavily on the inaction of the other boys, where they allowed Jack to rise to power, brainwash them into being savages, and started a tribalistic society. Following the deaths of Piggy and Simon, the novel itself has been compared to the events of World War II, how Hitler rose to power, and the horrible things he did while in power. Considering that the book was in 1954, and the nature of the story, it certainly seems like Sir William Golding (who also served in World War II and taught Philosophy) was making a statement on the human errors that occurred in the 20th century.