StudyBoss » Literature » Lord of the Flies Summary

Lord of the Flies Summary

During a war, an airplane carrying British boys crashes down in the Pacific. All the boys survive, except for the pilot, who was the only grown up among them. Ralph, a handsome boy with long and fair hair, whose father works in the English military, is the first to be introduced in the story. Along with Ralph is Piggy. Piggy is a chubby short boy who wears glasses and has Asthma. Ralph finds a conch from the sea and uses it as a trumpet to call the remaining survivors from the crash site. Throughout the book, the conch is used as a symbol of civilization, order, and power. When he blows the conch, he starts seeing the presence of life on the beach. The first boy who follows the sound of the conch is Johnny, then the twins, few younger boys, and at last, Jack, who is accompanied by his Choir. They ask for a chief and they all vote for Ralph to be their leader. Ralph being in charge now, chooses jack to be the leader of the hunting group. Then, Ralph chose Simon and Jack to go with him to explore the island. In their expedition, they climb a mountain, where they realized that they are on the deserted island. They decided to go down the mountain and go back to other boys. On their way, they find a pig, and jack boldly decides to kill it, but then he hesitates and the pig runs away. Blowing the conch, Ralph calls on an assembly. He talks about having a fire signal, so the ships passing by could notice the smoke and could come to rescue them. A young boy with a huge birthmark on his face from the littluns is pushed forward by the littluns to talk for them. He asked Ralph “what are you going to do about the snake thing, it was a beastie”. But Ralph tells them(the letters) that there is no such thing as beastie, but if they ever find such a thing then they will kill it. The rest of the boys were already overwhelmed because of the fire, so they all start shouting “FIRE” “FIRE” “FIRE” and Jack led them into the wood part of the island. They make fire using Piggy’s glasses, but soon after, the fire becomes uncontrollable and burns many trees.

The littlun with the large birthmark vanishes that night. And no one knows what happened to him. Jack becomes very jealous, of Ralph having all the authority, so he tries to tell the other boys that they should spend most of their energies in hunting rather than maintaining the fire signal. One of the boys helps Ralph to make huts, where they could be safe during storms and rain. Jack takes all the older boys (including those who should be maintaining the fire) with him for hunting. While Jack and his hunters are in the jungle, hunting the pigs, a ship passes by the island, but the fire is already out. And this makes Ralph very angry. When Jack returns with his hunters, Ralph starts shouting at them and so does Piggy. Jack, who is already not liking Piggy and Ralph loses his temper and hits Piggy in his stomach, and breaks one of the lenses from his glasses. The hatred towards Ralph is growing in Jacks mind like a wildflower. No one needs to water it or take care of it, the wild, itself, is helping in its growth. Ralph calls on a meeting trying to set everything right. But, the meeting becomes chaotic when some of the boys start talking about some sort of beast. The previous night when everyone was sleeping there was an air battle, far away and one of the dead parachutists landed on the island, and the boys who were on fire duty thought it was some kind of beast. When the littluns heard about the beast, they started having nightmares every other night. Seeing this, Ralph decides that all the older boys (except for Piggy) will go to the jungle to kill the beast. They searched everywhere but they did not find anything. They came across a dark cave and because it was night time and most of the boys did not want to go there and search. Ralph decides that he will go alone, but soon after Jack accompanies him. When they go to the cave which is located on a mountain, they see the shadow of the dead parachutist and fell into thinking that it is the beast. They feel frightened and start to run away.

Though Ralph explains to Piggy the mysteries dark thing which he saw on the cave, still Piggy remains doubtful. The very next morning Jack opposes Ralph’s power, and he asks all those who are in his favor to raise their hands, but no one does. Ralph remained their chief. Jack got angry and he leaves the group. Saying “those who want to hunt and have fun can follow me”. Soon enough, Ralph is left only with the twins and Piggy. All the older boys join Jack. Jack leads his hunters to the “Castle Rock” (which is on the other side of the island) and they all settle there. Jack paints them all in color, “behind which they hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness.” (4:34) they became savages. Jack decides that he will throw in a feast with the meat which they will hunt, and he will invite Ralph and the other boys to join his tribe. Some of Jack’s hunters are very afraid of the beast, but Jack tells them to forget about the beast (8:168). The savages go into the forest and kill a pig, and Jack decides that he will leave the head of the pig on a stick as an offering to the beast so that he doesn’t come out to feed on his hunters. Accidently, Simon finds out the head of the pig in the forest, and he gets into this illumination and he starts seeing this head floating into the air and talking to him. He calls it the “Lord of the flies” because of the ugliness of the head which was caused by the worms and flies which were roaming around the pig’s face. The Lord of the Flies tells Simon that he (lord of the flies) can’t be killed and that he is part of them, and he is in them. Simon faints away. When Simon comes back to his consciousness, he finds the dead parachutist, and he decides to go down to tell everyone the truth. Jack and his tribe go to Ralph’s side of the island. Jack take away their fire and invites them all to his feast. After the twins and the littluns go to feast with Jack, Ralph and Piggy decide that they should go to and see what is happening. The food was finished and the feast was over when Ralph tell all the boys that they should all go to the huts because of the rain. It was this moment when Jack orders a dance, and his tribe starts rehearsing how they killed the pig. Simon crawls out of the forest and he gets inside the circle of the dancing boys, but he could hardly make himself heard because of the storm and the chant that the boys were singing. The boys start hitting Simon as if he was the beast and eventually they kill him. That night there was a heavy storm, and it brought the dead body of the parachutist onto the beach, and it made the boys more frightened and they all start screaming and running around.

The next morning Ralph and Piggy were feeling sad and guilty for what they had done to Simon the other night. On the other side of the island, the savages were not feeling anything at all. Jack’s plan was, to the first hunt, and then later in the day they will go and steal fire from Ralph and Piggy. Ralph was feeling the need for more people to keep the fire signal on. It was during sunset when Ralph gave up on the fire signal and decided to go back to the huts and take rest. In the midst of the night, the savages attacked the huts. They beat the four boys, and they stole Piggy’s glasses. But the four boys gave tit for tat. The next morning, all the four boys groom themselves very nicely, so that they could look like civilized people and not savages. They went to the castle rock to meet the savages, and call on an assembly. When they reach there, Ralph blows the conch— calling on an assembly, but Jack tells him that this is his area and the conch does not have any value here, on his side of the island. Ralph makes Jack angry by calling them “painted fools”. Jack rages upon Ralph and he stabs him with his spear in the chest. But Jack fights back, and in the midst of an exchange of fists between Ralph and Jack, Piggy holds on the conch high and start shouting at everyone. Trying to bring them back to their senses.

Meanwhile, Roger, who was very sadistic and cruel, and also was very loyal to Jack from the beginning of the story, was standing on top of the hill. He pushed a huge rock on Piggy from the mountaintop. The rock hits Piggy and before anyone could move, Piggy fells 40 feet down the castle rock and dies. Everyone became very silent. There was no sound of the boys in the island for a moment. The only thing you could hear was the sound of the waves crashing into each other. After a moment of utter silence, Jack declared himself as the new chief and he threw his spear towards Ralph. Seeing all this Ralph runs away. The savages take the twins as their prisoners and make them their gate guard. Jack as their new chief, give the order to the savages to kill Ralph. They were into thinking that Ralph was hiding somewhere in the jungle. Ralph was smart so he hid near the castle rock because there, no one would ever find him. When the night arrived and all the savages were gathered around the fire, eating and having fun. Ralph crawled to the castle gate and draw the twin’s attention towards him. The twins told him to go back and to never come back here again. They gave him a piece of meat and sent him back, and told him to stay near the castle so that no one could suspect about him. The next morning Ralph finds out that Jack is trying to burn down the whole forest, thinking that the fire would burn Ralph too, who according to him was hiding in the forest. When Ralph sees this, he gets frightened and starts running. Savages take a notice of him and they start running behind them. As soon as Ralph is exposed in open beach, he falls down and collapses. When he looks back up, he sees a newly arrived British naval officer. Ralph starts crying. He cries for losing his friends. Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Leave a Comment