Lord of The Flies: Summary and Detailed Analysis

Lord of The Flies: Student's Guide with Detailed Analysis
Table of Contents
Lord of the Flies is a well-known book by William Golding, who won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. Interestingly, it's his first novel. The story unfolds with a group of boys finding themselves stranded on an island after a plane crash. They attempt to survive and establish order. However, without the influence of civilization, they gradually descend into savagery.

Notably, the book was published in 1954 and later adapted into two movies, one in 1963 and another in 1990. It's often compared to The Coral Island, a book from 1857. Now, this article, crafted by our expert coursework writer, is here to guide students like you in better understanding the plot, themes, symbols, and facts about Lord of the Flies. So, without further ado, let's delve into it!

Source: https://essaypro.com/blog/lord-of-the-flies-summary

Feeling Swamped by the Book?

Let us help with our top-notch essay for a clear breakdown and deep dive!

Write My Essay

Major Characters in Lord of the Flies 

Let's start by getting to know the characters. In Lord of the Flies, the characters are teenage boys from Great Britain, evacuated because of an unspecified war. Most didn't know each other before landing on the island, except for a group of choir boys led by Jack. The main characters – Ralph, Jack, and Piggy – show different reactions to the crisis. Ralph is the fair-haired leader, trying to maintain order amidst chaos. However, as the others descend into savagery, they hunt him.

Lord of The Flies: Summary and Detailed Analysis

Piggy, Ralph's smart friend, supports him but faces physical limitations due to his weight and other impairments. Despite his practical ideas, Piggy tragically dies trying to retrieve his stolen glasses.

Jack, initially well-behaved, becomes a dominant hunter, challenging Ralph's authority. Roger, a typical bully, enjoys harassing others and kills Piggy.

Sam and Eric, inseparable twins, symbolize conformity. Simon, a gentle character, helps others but suffers a tragic fate at the hands of the hunters.

The Beast, a mysterious creature, represents the group's fear. Initially dismissed, it becomes a symbol of their primitive emotions and fears.

The naval officer, resembling a character from The Coral Island, sarcastically remarks on the boys' conditions when he arrives to rescue them.

Before proceeding to the next section, learn how to cite a poem APA style to alleviate one academic burden in school.

6 Key Facts on Lord of the Flies: A Brief Study Guide

Here are some key facts about Lord of the Flies to help you understand the book better. Meanwhile, if you would rather pay for my research paper, we are here to handle it with expertise.

Key Facts on Lord of the Flies: A Brief Study Guide
  1. The book was written as a response to The Coral Island by Robert Michael Ballantyne, published in 1857. However, Lord of the Flies takes a completely opposite turn from its predecessor.
  2. Initially, the youngest kids on the island notice a mysterious 'beastie,' but the older boys mock them. Eventually, it's revealed that some of the older boys themselves were the feared monsters.
  3. Simon is the one who gives the pig's head, mounted on a stick, the nickname Lord of the Flies.
  4. The exact number of boys on the island in Lord of the Flies is unclear. However, two of them, Piggy and Simon, become victims of the hunters' violence and die.
  5. The text of Lord of the Flies features a lot of teenage slang, adding to its realism. The younger kids are referred to as 'littluns,' while the older boys are called 'biguns.'
  6. The main themes of Lord of the Flies include the role of civilization, the integrity of the human soul, and the equivocation of values. It's a great source for essays on topics like friendship, the challenges of growing up, maintaining civil order, and how the mind responds to difficult situations.

Summary of Lord of the Flies and Analysis

The chapter summaries of Lord of the Flies showcase a gradual descent into madness as the boys are cut off from civilization. Since the author doesn't provide dates, it's unclear how long they stay on the island. The text flows smoothly with abundant monologues, making it easy to read. Throughout the chapters, hidden instincts emerge, highlighting key symbols and showing how people adapt in the absence of external constraints. Now, let's delve into the detailed analysis of each chapter prepared by our essay writer for you.

Summary of Chapter 1: The Sound of the Shell

The events begin on the island, where two boys – Ralph and Piggy – talk about the plane crash that landed them there. Piggy doubts that anybody is coming to their rescue since he heard something about an atomic bomb during the flight, and therefore, believes that the whole world has been destroyed and that they are all alone. The boys talk a little bit about themselves – Ralph talks about how his father is "a commander in the Navy. When he gets leave he'll come and rescue us" (Chapter 1). Piggy is the complete opposite of Ralph; he says: "I used to live with my auntie. She kept a candy store. I used to get ever so many candies. As many as I liked" (Chapter 1). He is chubby, suffers from asthma, and doesn't know how to swim. 

Ralph swims in the bay, where he finds a pretty shell:

Chapter 1: "In color the shell was deep cream, touched here and there with fading pink. Between the point, worn away into a little hole, and the pink lips of the mouth, lay eighteen inches of shell with a slight spiral twist and covered with a delicate, embossed pattern."

He uses the shell to call a general meeting. Other kids come from around the island—among them are the members of the boys' choir led by Jack Merridew. Jack obviously has a lot of authority among his "group of cloaked boys." All in all, the boys seem disappointed that there are no grownups on the island. They discuss the need to organize themselves. Since Ralph was the one to call the meeting, the boys voted him to be "chief" of the group. 

Jack is dissatisfied with such a decision since he proposed his own candidacy for the leadership position:

Chapter 1: "I ought to be chief… because I'm chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp" (Chapter 1). Ralph wants to make peace with Jack and offers him leadership over the choir boys: "Jack's in charge of the choir. They can be—what do you want them to be?"

From this day on, Jack proclaims his group "hunters." 

Summary of Chapter 2: Fire on the Mountain

After the meeting, the kids explore their new homeland. From the highest point, they realize that it's an island:

Chapter 2: "We're on an island. We've been on the mountain top and seen water all round. We saw no houses, no smoke, no footprints, no boats, no people. We're on an uninhabited island with no other people on it."

On their way back, they encounter a pig; Jack wants to stab it but doesn't dare. The boys decide that they are going to have a good time on the island before the adults come to rescue them. They notice flowers, fruits, and the sea:

Chapter 2: "This is our island. It's a good island. Until the grownups come to fetch us we'll have fun" (Chapter 2). Suddenly, the younger boys, who have been staying somewhat aloof, raise a question about the island beast: "He wants to know what you're going to do about the snake-thing."

The boys laugh and try to convince the youngsters that there are no beasts on the island:

Chapter 2: "You couldn't have a beastie, a snake-thing, on an island this size… You only get them in big countries, like Africa, or India."

The boys decide that they will make a fire on the top of the mountain to ensure that the rescue ship finds them. They use Piggy's glasses to burn the dry leaves and tree branches. At first, they have trouble with lighting it, then keeping it alive, and then the fire spreads into the nearest woods. Finally, Jack assumes responsibility for keeping the fire going:

Chapter 2: "Ralph, I'll split up the choir–my hunters, that is–into groups, and we'll be responsible for keeping the fire going."

Summary of Chapter 3: Huts on the Beach

During the first days, the only policies established by Ralph were to survive, to have fun, and to keep the fire going while waiting for a rescue mission. The boys attend regular meetings, but nobody seems to work too hard: Jack hunts all by himself, the choir boys spend more time swimming than working, and the younger kids hang out on the beach and eat fruits. The boys quickly realize that their only sources of food are fruits and wild pigs. Simon puts the most effort into the construction of shelters – he is kind, soft, and protective of the younger kids. Meanwhile, Piggy experiences more and more bullying from the ex-choir hunters:

Chapter 3: "There had grown up tacitly among the biguns the opinion that Piggy was an outsider, not only by accent, which did not matter, but by fat, and ass-mar, and specs, and a certain disinclination for manual labor"

The fragile order on the island begins to fail. 

Summary of Chapter 4: Painted Faces and Long Hair

Discipline on the island was absent from the very beginning, and the leftovers of ascertaining order were lost soon thereafter. The boys roamed the island and spent their days lazily. In the abundance of free time, they started to notice mysterious things in the woods. The idea of some beast hiding somewhere grew in their minds. Ralph continues to appeal to the kids' reason; however, Jack uses this opportunity to undermine his rival. Jack fed their fears and promised to find and kill the Beast to keep everybody safe. 

Jack summons all of the hunters to explore the island in pursuit of pigs and beasts. This meant that nobody was watching the signal fire on the top of the mountain. On one of their hunting trips, Jack, Bill, Sam, and Eric find a river with white and red clay. Jack smears his face with the clay:

Chapter 4: "For hunting. Like in the war. You know—dazzle paint. Like things trying to look like something else."

The hunters then kill their first pig and bring it to the camp. During this time, a ship passes the island but doesn't stop since there is no smoke for a rescue signal. Jack triumphs on account of his hunting victory, and Ralph is upset because of the fire that has been lost. This leads to their first major argument. Piggy tries to express his support for Ralph, which makes Jack even angrier as he breaks one side of Piggy's glasses. 

Summary of Chapter 5: Beast from Water

Ralph calls another meeting where he reiterates the rules: the fire should be maintained at all times, the toilet should be in one designated place, and the food should be prepared only on the fire on the top of the mountain. As tensions between boys intensify, the younger kids continue to complain about the Beast. One of the boys, Percival, claims that the Beast comes from the waters. It becomes harder and harder to convince them that the Beast is the product of their imagination:

Chapter 5: "… the littluns were no longer silent. They were reminded of their personal sorrows, and perhaps felt themselves sharing in a sorrow that was universal. They began to cry in sympathy, two of them almost as loud as Percival" (Chapter 5). The meeting turned into chaos. Ralph, Piggy and Simon discuss the need for adults: "Grownups know things… They ain't afraid of the dark. They'd meet and have tea and discuss. Then things 'ud be all right."

Summary of Chapter 6: Beast from Air

One night, there is an air battle not far from the island:

Chapter 6: "… there were other lights in the sky, that moved fast, winked, or went out, though not even a faint popping came down from the battle fought at ten miles' height"

The dead body of a man with a parachute lands on the island. When the twins – Sam and Eric – take their guard positions around the fire, they see the body and run away—calling Ralph for help. However, Ralph and Jack can't find anything when they examine the island. The boys notice that the fire is out again and decide to go up the mountain. It begins to get dark. 

Summary of Chapter 7: Shadows of the Tall Trees

On their way towards the mountaintop, Jack decides to hunt something because, as Roger says: "We need meat even if we are hunting the other thing" (Chapter 7). They spot a boar. Ralph hits it with a rock, but the animal escapes. In the heat of the hunt, one of the boys, Robert, starts to imitate the pig, and everybody else plays the hunter. They circle around Robert and scream:

Chapter 7: "Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!" They really hurt their friend: "Robert was screaming and struggling with the strength of frenzy. Jack had him by the hair and was brandishing his knife." The rage was so intense that Ralph wasn't able to inhibit the hunters. 

After the massive and violent ritual, Ralph, Roger, and Jack go up the mountain in the middle of the night. They notice the corpse of the dead pilot stuck in the tree branches with his evacuation parachute:

Chapter 7: "Behind them, the silver of moon had drawn clear of the horizon. Before them, something like a great ape was sitting asleep with its head between its knees. Then the wind roared in the forest, there was confusion in the darkness, and the creature lifted its head, holding toward them the ruin of a face."

Due to their impassioned emotions, they convince themselves that the dead man is the Beast, and the three of them flee as fast as they can back to their camp. 

Lord of The Flies: Summary and Detailed Analysis

Summary of Chapter 8: Gift for the Darkness

Ralph is terrified of the Beast, and he even thinks that the creature is camping around the fire to make sure that the boys aren't rescued. Once the boys are back at the camp, Jack calls a meeting and accuses Ralph of being a coward and being unable to protect them from the dangers they've encountered:

Chapter 8: "Ralph thinks you're cowards, running away from the boar and the Beast… He's like Piggy. He says things like Piggy. He isn't a proper chief."

However, the boys don't agree to replace Ralph with Jack, so the angry hunter goes into the woods to start his own tribe with the other choir boys:

Chapter 8: "I'm not going to be a part of Ralph's lot… I'm going off by myself. He can catch his own pigs. Anyone who wants to hunt when I do can come too."

Day after day, Jack tries to attract other boys to join his clan by promising them feasts with delicious pig meat. Eventually, Bill, Roger, and Maurice join the hunters. The boys now call Jack "chief" and hunt all things that are alive on the island. They believe that as long as they leave something for the Beast to kill and eat, they will be safe. During one of their hunts, they kill a pretty big pig. Jack mounts its head on a stick:

Chapter 8: "Jack held up the head and jammed the soft throat down on the pointed end of the stick which pierced through into the mouth. He stood back and the head hung there, a little blood dribbling down the stick." Jack proclaims: "This head is for the Beast. It's a gift".

Simon watches the hunters from a quiet place he found for himself in the middle of the woods. While looking at the mounted pig's head surrounded by insects, he decides to call it the "Lord of the Flies." Simon begins to hear the pig's voice in his head:

Chapter 8: "You are a silly little boy… just an ignorant, silly little boy".

The Lord of the Flies tells Simon that the Beast is inside each of the boys and that his life is in danger. Hearing that, Simon faints. Eventually, Ralph and Piggy decide to visit one of Jack's feasts. 

Lord of The Flies: Summary and Detailed Analysis

Summary of Chapter 9: A View to a Death

A big storm begins to brew over the island. Simon decides to go up the mountain to confront the Beast himself. He sees the dead parachutist and gets the straps off of the corpse. Realizing that there is no beast, the boy rushes back to tell everybody the good news. At the same time, Ralph once again enters into an argument with Jack over the title of being the island's authority. Ralph insists that he's been democratically elected as their leader. In response, Jack, whose face is painted with clay, starts a ritual dance while singing his favorite song:

Chapter 9: "Kill the Beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!"

The boys, scared of the storm, are also scared to be hungry and hunted by the imaginary Beast – so they join Jack in his savage dance:

Chapter 9: "The movement became regular while the chant lost its first superficial excitement and began to beat like a steady pulse"

Unfortunately, Simon enters the camp in the moment of their total madness. All the boys could see was a dark figure approaching from the woods; they quickly surrounded the figure, ignored all cries from 'some man' on the hill, and used their sticks to kill the creature:

Chapter 9: "The Beast struggled forward, broke the ring and fell over the steep edge of the rock to the sand by the water. At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the Beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore."

Once the madness subsides, everyone realizes that Simon is dead. The body of the parachutist is blown away from the island during the storm. 

Summary of Chapter 10: The Shell and the Glasses

Piggy tries to rationalize the cruel and inhumane murder of Simon:

Chapter 10: "It was an accident… that's what it was. An accident. Coming in the dark—he hadn't no business crawling like that out of the dark. He was batty. He asked for it."

But Ralph realizes that the boys have crossed a line, and there is no turning back. There are only a few boys left who haven't joined the hunters: Ralph, Piggy, the Samneric twins, and some youngsters. The boys are desperate to keep the fire on the island—as it's their only chance for rescue and survival. One night, Jack sneaks into their shelters and steals the glasses used to start the fire. 

Summary of Chapter 11: Castle Rock

The hunters now live in a rock cave that kind of resembles a castle; therefore, they call it Castle Rock. Ralph, the twins, and Piggy decide to go there and get Piggy's glasses back from Jack. The boys prepare for a fight as much as they can – they take spears with them, tie their hair back, and take the conch shell. Since Piggy can't see anything without his glasses, Ralph orders him to kneel down and stay behind once they approach Castle Rock. A fight breaks out. Roger starts throwing stones from the top of the mountain. Jack stabs Ralph with a spear. Ralph tries to appeal to the hunters to be reasonable and invest common effort into getting the fire going:

Chapter 11: "Don't you understand, you painted fools? Sam, Eric, Piggy and me— we aren't enough. We tried to keep the fire going, but we couldn't. And then you, playing at hunting..."

The hunters surround the twins, take their spears away, and tie them up. Ralph loses his temper and calls out to Jack:

Chapter 11: "You're a beast and a swine and a bloody, bloody thief!"

The heated argument results in Roger throwing a massive rock off of the mountain:

Chapter 11: "The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist… Piggy fell forty feet and landed on his back across the square red rock in the sea. His head opened, and stuff came out and turned red. Piggy's arms and legs twitched a bit like a pig's after it has been killed."

In complete silence, the boys watch how the sea begins to take away Piggy's dead body. 

Summary of Chapter 12: Cry of the Hunters

Ralph runs away to escape the hunters, "the bruised flesh was inches in diameter over his right ribs, with a swollen and bloody scar where the spear had hit him" (Chapter 12). He realizes that Jack will not leave him alone now. Sam and Eric get beaten until they accept Jack's rule as chief. During a secret meeting, Samneric warns Ralph that the next day, hunters will begin to look for him around the entire island. The hunters prepare to mount Ralph's head on a stick as a new tribute to the Beast. The boys torture the twins to give up Ralph's hiding place and set the woods on fire in search of their enemy. 

When Ralph almost gets caught by the hunters, he suddenly stumbles into a man on the beach. This man is a naval officer who is very surprised to see all of the boys painted in clay and running around with spears. The sky over the island turns black as a result of the fire started by the hunters. The officer thinks the boys are playing fun games about war.

Chapter 12: "The officer inspected the little scarecrow in front of him. The kid needed a bath, a haircut, a nose-wipe and a good deal of ointment."

Ralph gives into tears and is happy that they are finally safe.

Essay Sample on Lord of the Flies

Gain insights into Lord of the Flies with our essay sample, where scholarly critique meets in-depth exploration.

The Symbolism of the Conch/Ralph vs. Jack:Leadership and Morality
The Symbolism of the Conch/Ralph vs. Jack:Leadership and Morality

Symbolism in Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies is filled with symbolism that adds depth to the story. Whether you're writing a 1000 Word Essay or something shorter, explore these symbols and their profound significance throughout the narrative.

Symbolism in Lord of the Flies
  1. Piggy's Glasses symbolize civilization. Initially used to start the boys' first fire, they represent order and reason. However, when Jack breaks them during a fight with Ralph, it marks the beginning of the island's descent into savagery. Piggy's futile attempt to recover his glasses ultimately leads to his demise.
  2. The Conch Shell serves as a symbol of democracy and organization. Used to call meetings and designate who speaks, it represents the boys' attempt to maintain order and civility on the island amidst chaos.
  3. The Pig's Head, known as the Lord of the Flies, symbolizes primal instincts and the prioritization of basic needs over spiritual ones. It also embodies the boys' internal fears and the descent into savagery as they succumb to their wild impulses.
  4. War Paint is a symbol of disguise and transformation. Initially used by the hunters to mimic the appearance of savages they've seen in movies, it eventually becomes a mask, representing the boys' departure from their civilized selves and their immersion into a primal existence on the island.
  5. Uncontrolled Fire represents destruction and lost hope. From their first attempt to start a fire, which spirals out of control, to the devastating inferno that consumes the island in their pursuit of Ralph, fire represents the destructive power of unchecked impulses and the collapse of order.

Themes in Lord of the Flies 

As we explore the key themes in Lord of the Flies and their evolution throughout the story, feel free to leave us your request - 'write my nursing paper for me' or any other topic, and we'll handle it swiftly!

  1. Civilization vs. Savagery: The central theme of the book is the contrast between civilization and savagery. The author delves into human instincts and questions how much evolution has suppressed primal urges. As the boys are freed from societal constraints, they quickly shed their civilized facades and descend into primitive behaviors, forming a tribal community.
  2. Youth and Loss of Innocence: Initially, the boys revel in their newfound freedom after the plane crash but soon realize they are alone without adult guidance. This prompts them to embrace their independence. However, the harsh reality of survival forces them to mature rapidly, transitioning from gentlemen to cavemen as they grapple with the challenges of island life.
  3. Fear and the Nature of Evil: Fear permeates the narrative, starting with the fear of isolation and escalating to fear of a mysterious beast and, ultimately, fear of themselves. As the boys relinquish their civilized behavior, fear replaces reason as the driving force in their decision-making. The text highlights the innate presence of evil within individuals and the struggle to reconcile with it.
  4. Power and Religion: Towards the end of the story, power shifts to those who can exert physical dominance, provide sustenance, and offer protection. Force becomes the primary currency of control, while rage emerges as the predominant emotion. Religion fades into the background, replaced by the primal instinct for power and survival.

Final Words

Lord of the Flies is a great book for writing essays as it has lots of important themes and symbols, and the story is easy to understand. You can write about the characters acting savagely, Piggy trying to make sense of what's happening, or Ralph standing up to bullies. And as you do, you always have our guidance. Simply request - write

Source: https://essaypro.com/blog/lord-of-the-flies-summary

Struggling to Write Your Essay on Lord of the Flies?

Our skilled writers will provide a comprehensive analysis, saving you time and stress!

Don't Get Lost


What Are the Major Points of the Lord of the Flies?

What Is the Main Message of Lord of the Flies?

What Are the Three Most Important Symbols in Lord of the Flies?

Source: https://essaypro.com/blog/lord-of-the-flies-summary
Select Category
All Posts
Grab your free survival kit!
Dive into 500+ handpicked academic resources tailored for you. Boost your skills, save time, and achieve excellence.

Need a Student Survival Kit? Drop your email and it's yours!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.