Lord of the Flies

By William Golding

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The Lord of the Flies is an allegory to the war going on. The boys are becoming violent and it shows that the rest of the world is also at war. They want to be saved by adults, but the adult world is just as bad as they are.

Chapter Summary

The Sound of the Shell

1. The plane crashes

2. Ralph meets Piggy

3. They find a conch shell

4. Ralph is elected leader

The chapter is called The Sound of the Shell because Ralph finds a conch and gathers the boys.

Fire on the Mountain

1. The boys have a meeting

2. They realize there are no adults on the island

3. They need a way to be rescued

4. A fire is started in hopes of being rescued

The chapter is called Fire on the Mountain because the boys start a fire to be rescued.

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Huts on the Beach

1. Jack hunts for a pig, but doesn't kill it

2. Ralph and Simon build huts

3. Simon wanders through the jungle

4. He finds a peaceful patch of land

The chapter is called Huts on the Beach because Ralph and Simon build huts for the kids to live in.

Painted Faces and Long Hair

1. The boys get used to living on the island

2. They talk about the "beast' that they are scared of

3. Many of the boys get sick

4. Jack paints his face and hunts for a pig

The chapter is called Painted Faces and Long Hair because Jack paints his face to hunt for a pig. Also, the long hair shows that the boys have been on the island for a long time.

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Beast from Water

1. Another meeting takes place

2. Ralph says there is not a beast on the island

3. One of the littluns said he saw one

4. The boys think the beast comes from the water

The chapter is called Beast from Water because the boys think that the beast comes from the water.

Beast from Air

1. Planes battle above the island at night

2. Sam and Eric find the body of a dead parachutist in the trees

3. They think its the beast

4. There is a search party to find the beast

The chapter is called Beast from Air because the beast that they find came from a plane flying above the island.

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Shadows and Small Trees

1. The boys head to the mountain to rebuild the signal fire

2. Jack suggests that they hunt for pigs

3. The boys almost kill Robert during a game

4. The group sees the dead parachutist and thinks its the beast

The chapter is called Shadows and Small Trees because even shadows are starting to scare the boys when they look for the beast.

Gift for the Darness

1. A meeting is called

2. The boys refuse to vote Ralph out of power, so Jack leaves the group

3. Jack's group kills a sow and leaves the head on a stick for the beast

4. Simon finds the "Lord of the Flies' and talks to it. He is told that the evil is within all of them.

The chapter is called Gift for the Darkness because the pig head on a stick is left for the beast which is darkness.

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A View to a Death

1. Simon wakes up and sees the dead parachutist and vomits

2. Ralph and Piggy arrive at the feast

3. The boys are dancing and chanting frantically

4. Simon crawls to them and is mistaken for the beast and gets torn apart

This chapter is called A View to a Death because the Lord of the Flies told him he could not escape and he was killed by his friends.

The Shell and the Glasses

1. Ralph and Piggy are on the beach coping with killing Simon

2. Jack's group thinks Simon was the actual beast and the beast can take any form it wants to

3. Jack, Maurice, and Roger rob Ralph's camp for supplies

4. Piggy's glasses were stolen

This chapter is called The Shell and the Glasses because Piggy's glasses were stolen.

Castle Rock

1. Ralph's group struggle without the glasses

2. Ralph goes to Castle Rock and confronts Jack

3. Jack fights Ralph

4. Roger shoves a boulder at Piggy, sending him to his death at the bottom of the cliff

This chapter is called Castle Rock because that is where the boys fight and kill Piggy.

Cry of the Hunters

1. Ralph runs away from the chaos and hides

2. He finds the Lord of the Flies

3. Sam and Eric tell Ralph the plan to kill him

4. A fire is started to kill Ralph and signals to an officer who saves them

This chapter is called Cry of the Hunters because the hunters were chasing Jack and ended up saving the boys.



Ralph is the leader of the boys. He is the oldest and has the most knowledge. He represents acting in a civil manner.
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Jack Merridew

Jack is one of the older boys and thinks he should be leader. He becomes obsessed with hunting and starts his own tribe.


Simon is the Christ Figure in the story. He represents what is good in the world.
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Piggy is the smartest of all the boys. He is bullied by the other kids and eventually killed by a boulder.
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Maurice destroys some of the littlun's sand castles. He goes out of his way to be mean to others.


Roger is a very violent kid. He represents sadists because he enjoys bringing others pain.


Littluns are little kids on the island. They are very dependent of the older kids. Most of them are afraid of a beast. They represent innocence.


Sam and Eric are twins. They are very civilized people. They don't act otherwise. They represent civilization in the world.


Henry is one of the littluns. He acts like a leader for the young kids.


Percival is one of the smallest kids on the island. He cries in a hut for two days. He is very innocent and emotional.

British Officer

The British Officer saves the boys in the end. He is surprised when he sees the boys in such a violent state. He realized how close the boys were to the real world, even though they were on a stranded island.
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Conch Shell

The conch shell represents civilization because when someone blows into it, the group meets. It helps keep rules in order.

School Sweaters

The sweaters represent the boys' innocence. The more that the boys take off their uniform, the more violent they become.

Hair and Face Paint

Long hair means that the boys have been on the island a long time. The face paint is put on when the boys become cruel and savage. It represents their violence

The Fire

The fire is the only way the boys can be saved. It represents their salvation.
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Piggy's Eyeglasses

Piggy's eyeglasses are the boys' key to life. Without the eyeglasses, they are hopeless. It helps them start fires which can help them get them saved.

Pig's Head on a Stick

The Lord of the Flies represents the savagery that the boys fall into. When they put the head on a stick, they were at the epitome of violence.
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Imagery of Wounds

The imagery of wounds refer to the boys' tendency for violence. They refer to the spot where the plane crashes as a scar. The boys see the world as morbid and evil.

The Pig Hunts

The pig hunts shows their obsession to hunt and kill. Some of them become addicted to hunting pigs and become without reason.


The huts represent the boys' knowledge of survival. They know they need to build shelter to survive.


The jungle represents the fear in the boys. They are scared of a beast in the jungle. Their fear of the beat causes them to act out of fear and kill when it is not necessary.

The Mountain

The mountain represents the fall of civilization. Piggy falls off of the cliff of the mountain and died. Many things come with the fall of the cliff. When Piggy dies, who is the voice of reason, civilization falls even further.

Biblical Motifs

Throughout the book, things fall or break to represent the fall of something else. When Simon, the Christ figure, dies, the boys become less civilized. When Piggy loses his sight, it represents the fall of reason. When he falls off the cliff, it represents the fall of humanity in the boys. When Ralph fell at the Officer's feet, when the conch broke, and the fallen parachutist all refers to the fall of humanity at the time period. There is no one to save the boys because when they are rescued, they are brought into another world at war.


Civilization vs. Savagery

When the boys first crash onto the island, they are civilized. The civilization does not last very long, however. Shortly they begin to fall into savagery which is brought on by fear. All of the savagery is brought on by the fear of the beast. The boys did not realize that the beast was within themselves.

Wisdom vs. Knowledge

Wisdom and knowledge are very different things. The boys have the knowledge they need to survive. However, they do not have the wisdom. Even though they can survive, they become out of control and violent. Wisdom is found by having the experience of doing something. You can have knowledge but not have the wisdom. Wisdom is earned by doing. The boys left the island with more wisdom than some people get in their whole life.

Nature of Violence

The nature of violence is within every human. Violence will always make itself known. When the boys were on the island, their nature of violence made its way out of them. Humans resort to violence when they feel endangered. The boys felt endangered by the beast and each other.

Nature of Fear

The nature of fear causes people to do unreasonable things. In a normal situation they boys would not have killed Simon, but out of fear of him being the beast, they killed him. Fear can control a person and it controlled each and every one of the boys on the island.

Why does Ralph cry?

Ralph cries because he is very happy to get off the island. He realizes what what the kids are capable of and is scared to be on the island with them. Also, he is sad because it hits him that his friends were killed. He became close to Piggy and it was hard for him to lose him.
Video SparkNotes: William Golding's Lord of the Flies summary