The Lord of the Flies: Summary


The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, an adventure and
suspense story, is written in 1857. The story sets on an deserted Pacific coral
island. A group of school boys are marooned on this island after a plane crash
on a trip to Australia.
The story begins with a large number of school boys on an uninhabited
tropical island and two of the elder boys who have leadership qualities compete
to achieve a semblance of order so as to survive. Ralph, who has found a conch
and blows it to summon all the boys to a meeting, is concerned about the well
being of everyone, while Jack is more concerned with making rules and punishing
offenders. However, only one firm rule is established by Ralph and that is only
the person holding the conch will be permitted to speak at meetings. The two
leaders soon discover that they do not like each other because of their
difference priorities and the conflict begins between them. It causes the group
to split into two, with Jack=s followers being in the majority.
Ralph is concerned with building shelters, arranging work and on being
rescued but Jack only wants to roam the jungle and hunt. The failure to
establish rules soon creates confusion and inappropriate behavior encouraged by
Jack. Ralph=s only supporter is Piggy, a fat asthmatic boys who nobody likes
because he is always lecturing and criticizing everyone=s behavior. Jack bullies
him constantly and the other boys make fun of him. Jack and his followers spend
most of their time hunting for wild pigs so Ralph=s efforts to organize the
group fail. By now, most of the older boys are beginning to act like savages,
hunting wild pigs, going into a frenzy when they succeed and celebrate their
kill with wild dancing around a fire.
One night during an air-battle, a body of a parachutist lands on the
island and has become tangled on some rocks on the mountain. A rumor of a
Abeast@ on their island discovers that the beast the parachutist but
unfortunately never has the opportunity to tell the others. He is mistaken for
the beast and is accidentally killed during a wild celebration feast that takes
place after a successful hunt by Jack and his followers. Later on, Ralph=s last
follower is also killed but not by accident.
Ralph has lost all his followers and is pursued by the others who want
to kill him. Will he survive? And who is the Lord of the Flies?
The story, full of suspense and horror, captures my imagination and my
interest throughout. The author=s message of what mankind must guard against if
the human race is to survive is depicted through the boys= rapid transformation
from school boys to savages. In the novel, Ralph represents democratic societies
while he tries to hold a civil society together where every man is allowed
personal freedom of thought and actions and Jack represents dictators in the
world who seek to establish a society wherein a person is told that only if he
contributes to making his country the most powerful on Earth may be important as
an individual.
Lord of the Flies is a novel exploring the disintegration of a society.

Category: English