Explain an important character or individual in the text. Explain how the character or individual is or is not a role model for teenagers.
The ability to stay true to your morals is an exceptional characteristic for any individual. Author William Golding carefully captures this characteristic and expresses it through the character Simon in the novel Lord of the Flies. Simon is the only character who stays true to his morals, all the other boys begin to turn towards their savage instincts. Suggesting that in society everybody has the potential to turn towards their primal instincts, it just depends on how much effort you want to put into staying true to your morals and yourself that distinguish the person you will be.
Simon is a unique character. Throughout the novel, he stands out due to his behaviour and thoughts. He is a quiet, intelligent and perceptive character and although the influence of savagery is clear on the island, Simon does not let it influence him. He puts forward suggestions such as ‘”We could make scratches on the bark.”’ This shows his intelligence because the boys are on an island where there are not many resources and so they need to think creatively on how to do things. Simon thinks beyond the immediate context to make suggestions that could help their survival. He is also a brave character, he offers to do things when nobody else wants to ‘”I’ll go if you like.”’ When none of the boys wants to go into the jungle because of the beast Simon volunteers. Perhaps, through Simon’s bravery Golding is trying to express to the reader that Simon is unlike the other boys, he realises the beast isn’t something ‘”…you could hunt and kill.”’. Simon is admirable because he does things for the good of others. When he makes intelligent comments, it is not because he wants others to look up to him for his intelligence, it is because he wants to improve the lives of others. When he acts bravely it is not because he wants people to see him as courageous it is because by doing these actions, he is making lives better. Simon acts from the good of his heart and that is a true characteristic of a role model, to not act to impress people but rather for people.
Simon’s innate goodness makes him a good role model. Although the other boys sometimes find him annoying, ‘”Simon, what is it this time?”’ He does not react in spite but rather in a gentle and affectionate way. Golding carefully crafts the novel and as a result, incorporates the boys turn towards savagery. As the novel progresses, most of the boys get referred to as ‘the savages’ but not Simon. This is because Simon has innate goodness, he shows no transformation into savagery and he likes to go to ‘”… a place I know”’ to keep him from the savagery within the boys and to enable him to remain morally pure. This is inspirational because as individuals in society we are easily influenced by the actions of others, people feel left out when they don’t participate, even if it is not something they agree with that people are doing. However, Simon acts in a peaceful and morally good way despite the growing savage actions of the others. Golding is trying to tell the reader that you do not have to act in the same way as those around you, you should be unique and think for yourselves. This is because when you act like those around you and don’t think for yourself you start to make decisions you regret. There will always be societal pressures however it is in your best interest to act despite these pressures and act like the person you want to be.
Simon was special. He was unlike the other boys; he had the unique gift of perception and intelligence. Golding refers to Simon as ‘sculpted marble’ proving that he was one to be remembered, not only for his actions but for the innate goodness and moral purity found within him. Although everybody is unique, Simon was different from the boys, and this makes him a good role model. He realised that it is okay to be different, that if people are not going to treat you for who you are, then they are not the people you want to be hanging out with. Simon stayed true to his morals he never drew to savagery because he put the effort into staying morally good. In society everything we do is a choice, we can choose to act in ways that will cause negative effects or we can act in ways that cause positive effects. It is in an individual’s actions that we realise who we aspire to be and who we look up to.
The ability to stay true to your morals in a society where everyone is drawn to things against them is a hard task. However, Simon did this with ease and because of this, he is a role model to teenagers. He didn’t let what was going on around him affect his decisions and actions and he stayed true to the person he wanted to be. This is good advice for teenagers in the 21st century, because so often people are caught up in what is going on around them and don’t realise when they are doing things that are against their beliefs. As individuals, we need to be the change we want to see in the world.