On the 28th anniversary of the death of William Golding – 19th June 1993 – we are publishing a clip of Golding reading from Lord of the Flies. He reads the end of Chapter 9: ‘A View to a Death’, where Simon’s fate is revealed. Moving away from the text, Golding also comments that the ‘book was written in the most violent of centuries’.
Golding had a special fondness for Simon. The character had a larger role in the manuscript of Lord of the Flies, but on the advice of editor Charles Monteith, Simon’s sections were reduced. He was originally very spiritual, almost Christ-like, and seemed to have uncanny powers. There is still evidence of this in the book – in Chapter 7, Simon tells Ralph ‘you’ll get back all right’, meaning that he will escape the island. Later in life, Golding regretted agreeing to diminish Simon’s role, saying in 1988, ‘some things should have been left in’.