Lord of the Flies

By William Golding

Allegory

The story Lord of the Flies shows how violent and savage human nature can be. It shows that every person can have an evil side to them; it shows that morals can be broken down in even the most civilized of people.

Chapter Summaries

Chapter 1: Sound of the Shell

1. This is the first time Piggy and Ralph meet

2. Piggy finds the conch, and Ralph uses it to get everyone to come

3. Ralph establishes himself as leader among the others.

4. Jack is unable to kill a pig in the forest.

Chapter 2: Fire on the Mountain

1. The beast in the jungle is first mentioned

2. The boys build a fire

3. The fire goes out of control

4. The littlun with the birthmark dies

Chapter 3: Huts on the Beach

1. Jack goes out to hunt for a pig

2. Ralph and others start to build huts on the beach

3. The huts are never completed due to laziness

4. Ralph and Jack begin having tense relations

Chapter 4: Painted Faces and Long Hair

1. Roger throws rocks at littluns, but doesn't hit them

2. The littluns talk about this "beast" on the island

3. Jack goes to hunt for the pig yet again, but this time he kills it

4. The hunters do a weird dance and chanting, showing their descent into savagery

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Chapter 5: Beast from Water

1. Fear of the beast increases

2. One of the littluns says that he saw the beast

3. Jack promises to hunt down and kill the beast

4. Ralph considers relinquishing his leadership

Chapter 6: Beast from AIr

1. A battle rages on in the sky, and a dead parachutist gets tangled on the island

2. Sam and Eric see the parachutist and mistake him for the beast

3. Ralph calls a meeting to discuss what Sam and Eric saw

4. The boys become whimsical, but Ralph scolds them for it

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Chapter 7: Shadows and Small Trees

1. Ralph again scolds the boys for becoming undisciplined

2. The boys go to hunt, and Ralph gets very excited

3. The boys almost kill Robert

4. Jack claims to have seen the beast

Chapter 8: Gift for the Darkness

1. Jack starts too say that Ralph needs to step down

2. Ralph goes into a depression after Jack leaves

3. Jack makes a new tribe, and they create the Lord of the Flies

4. Simon wanders in the jungle, where the Lord of the Flies "talks" to him

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Chapter 9: A View to a Death

1. Simon discovers the dead parachutist

2. Piggy and Ralph dance in Jack's dance due to peer pressure

3. The boys see what they think is the beast in the distance during their dance

4. They run at it and kill it, but later it turns out to be Simon

Chapter 10: The Shell and the Glasses

1. Piggy is unable to admit to killing Simon, but Ralph knows it to be true

2. Jack makes headquarters at Castle Rock

3. Jack rules as a dictator in his tribe

4. Jack orders a raid on Ralph's camp, and they beat him up badly

Chapter 11: Castle Rock

1. Ralph calls a meeting with the conch, but only a handful of littleuns come

2. He says that they must go to Castle Rock to talk to Jack

3. Ralph and Jack get in a fight with each other over Piggy's glasses

4. Roger throws a boulder at Piggy, making him fall off the cliff and die

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Chapter 12: Cry of the Hunters

1. Samneric tell Ralph about Jack's plan to kill him

2. Ralph hides from Jack and his tribe in the jungle

3. Jack decides to set the island on fire

4. Ralph and the tribe is saved by the British captain

Characters

1. Ralph- first leader of the boys on the island, but ended up losing power to Jack, and was then almost killed


2. Jack Merridew- wanted to be leader of the island, so he did that by putting fear in people, and offering food and fun


3. Simon- a Christ-like character who would go into the jungle, and he discovered who the real beast was. He was killed off by the others


4. Piggy- nerdy boy who was very intelligent, and Ralph’s best friend. His glasses started the first fire, but by the end he fell off a cliff and died


5. Maurice- boy who stepped on some littlun's sand castles, but felt bad after the fact


6. Roger- sadistic boy that had completely let go and totally gave into his animalistic nature


7. littluns- the group of small children that were the weakest on the island; most stayed with Ralph


8. Samneric- twins that had warned Ralph about Jack’s plan to kill him; stayed with Ralph through the whole story


9. Henry- the oldest littlun on the island


10. Percival- one of the youngest littluns


11. British Officer- naval officer that came and rescued the boys on the island

Symbols

1. conch shell- order


2. clothing (school sweaters)- civilization


3. hair and face paint- primal nature of the boys


3. the fire- a spark of civilization


4. Piggy’s eyeglasses- intelligence


5. pig’s head on stick (Lord of the Flies)- evil behavior within us all


6. creepers (jungle vines)- represent's the boys future conflicts


7. imagery of wounds (scar, gashes in trees, lightning and thunder)- boy's violent behavior


8. the pig hunts- violence of humans


9. huts- a step towards civilization


10. jungle (darkness)- it symbolizes nature, peaceful and untouched by man


11. the mountain- it represents a chance for rescue, as the fire was lit there

Biblical Motifs

1. The island itself is a symbol of the Garden of Eden in Genesis.


2. The Lord of the Flies is a causer of evil, therefore he could be connected to a demon or even Satan himself.


3. Simon is like Jesus, in some senses. He is the first to discover the truth of the beast, and he is a very kind and loving person. He was also killed because of what he knew.

Theme

Civilization v. Savagery- It shows that being civilized or savage is not very far off. The boys on the island quickly became animals, killing people that were even in their own group. Before too long, those rich and cultured boys had become sadistic savages, willing to kill anything just for the fun of it.

VII. Ending of novel: Why does Ralph cry at the end of the book?

I think Ralph cries at the end of the novel because he is filled with so many emotions all at once. He is happy that they are saved, but he is also sad that Piggy died. He was probably scared for his life right before the British officer came, and he was filled with relief at the same time. For a boy that age, even if he was wise after the events on the island, it is a very stressful and traumatizing situation to be in.
Understanding Symbolism in Lord of the Flies (Corrected Version)