Lord of the Flies : Theme, Characters, Full book Summary

Published on 05-Oct-2022

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies is a novel written in 1954 by William Golding. It was the first book the author ever wrote and massively became famous. William Golding won The Nobel Prize in Literature because of his novel, “The Lord of the Flies.” The book tells a tale about seven school boys stranded on a deserted island due to the war. The story’s themes are survival, savagery, man’s complex traits, and loss of innocence due to wars. 

Lord of the Flies

Characters:

Ralph

Ralph is the story’s protagonist. He represented civilization in a society when other boys voted for him as the group leader. Throughout the stories, he tries to make the group of boys cooperate and follow the rules to get rescued. 

Jack

Jack is the story’s antagonist. He represents the greed and savagery of society. After Ralph makes him the captain of the hunters’ team, he wants more power and manipulates other boys to join his group instead of Ralph. He breaks all the rules and becomes a mad boy. 

Simon

Simon is the shy and quiet boy in the group. He represents the morality and goodness of society. He was the only boy who was kind and good until the end. When he wants the rest of the manipulated boys to listen to his morals, they kill him without thinking. 

Piggy

Piggy is the second captain after Ralph. He follows and shares Ralph’s civilized view. He was more logical than Ralph. He made the younger children learn about time by creating a sundial on the ground. 

Roger

Roger followed around Jack as his bodyguard and shared Jack’s sadistic traits and loss of morality. He kills Piggy with a rock in the end. 

Sam and Eric

They are the youngest of the group. Sam and Eric are twin brothers and are easy to be manipulated. They start with being in Ralph’s team initially but later join Jack’s team after being easily convinced.  

Full book summary

The story begins in a mid of a war where the boys are being evacuated from danger in an airplane. The plane gets shot down and crashes on a deserted island. All the boys were scattered in different parts of the island. Ralph and Piggy discover a conch shell and blow it to call the other boys in one place.

After getting back together, they hold an assembly for a leader. The boys vote for Ralph as the leader of the group as he is the oldest boy. Ralph plants a bonfire to light so that the passing ships know about their location. He collected dead branches and used Piggy’s glasses to start a fire. Ralph makes Jack, the second oldest of the group, the captain of the food hunting team. 

Ralph, Jack, and Simon set off to explore the island separately, whereas the rest of the boys wait near the fire. The boys start playing among themselves and forget about monitoring the fire. The fire starts to spread, and the flames burn most of the trees on the island. The fire also kills one of the younger boys of the group.

At the beginning of the story, the boys forget about being rescued or surviving. They just play and have fun without following the rules. Ralph tries to convince the boys to act accordingly and help build a hut. Jack and his hunting team fail to catch a wild pig. Jack takes the role of the captain too seriously and keeps exploring, forgetting about everything else. 

One day a ship passes by the island when Ralph and Piggy notice the signal fire is out. Ralph becomes angry as the hunter team is supposed to monitor the signal fire. When Jack successfully returns after hunting a wild animal, Ralph confronts him about the fire. Jack ignoring Ralph’s presence, starts enacting the crazy hunting story for the other boys with a crazy dance. Piggy becomes angry now and tells Jack to act like a person.

Jack hits Piggy on his face. Ralph blows the conch shell again for another assembly. He urges the boys to be in order and follow the rules, but the younger boys start to become afraid. The little boys have been suffering from nightmares and feel that a wild beast is watching them at night. Some of the boys come up with a story that the monster lives under the sea and comes up only when they all are sleeping.

This scares the whole group even more. Ralph and Piggy tell the group to think rationally, whereas Jack starts to manipulate the group using their fear. Jack tells the group if they join his team and make him the leader, he will kill the secret monster. 

The military planes were in the war above the island when the boys were sleeping. The boys were so tired that they did not notice the gunfire in the sky or the flashing lights. The twins of the group who were in charge of monitoring the fire this time, Sam and Eric, wake up suddenly and notice a strange figure floating in the sky.

Due to the darkness, they did not realize a dead parachutist was falling from the military plane. The lapping noise of the parachute scares them both, and Sam and Eric run to the rest of the boys to tell them that the beast attacked them. 

The boys start a hunting plan for the beast. Jack and Ralph go to find the location of the beast. After reaching a remote mountain, they see the parachutist lying on the ground with the parachute. Jack seems to think that the figure made it look somewhat like a deformed ape. Jack and Ralph go back to the rest of the group to let them know what they saw. Jack tells the group that Ralph is scared to protect them and that he should be voted out as the leader.

The boys, however, do not want to vote out Ralph and disagree with Jack. Jack runs away from the group angrily and makes his separate plan to get rid of the monster. Ralph suggested the boys stay from the mountain and build a new fire signal near the beach. Although the boys decided to follow Ralph, some started to believe Ralph was scared to kill the monster. Some of the boys leave the group and join Jack’s new team. 

Jack declares himself the new leader and suggests a wild ritual to scare off the beast. He beheads a female swine and places the head on a sharp stake to offer it to the monster. Later, Simon, who is still on Ralph’s team, notices the pig’s head covered in flies and has a vision.

He imagines the pig head talking to him, and it tells him that he can never escape from him, of the evil lives among every man. Simon faints from the fear. When he wakes up, he goes to the mountain and discovers the dead parachute man.

He realizes the boys are scared for no reason and runs to tell them the truth. When he goes near the beach, Simon notices that everyone, including Ralph and Piggy, has joined the savage group Jack and the boys are enjoying a wild feast. Jack notices the vague figure of Simon and thinks it is the monster, and the entire group jumps on him and kills Simon by beating him to death. 

The next morning Ralph and Piggy realize what they have done and get separated from Jack’s team, taking a few of his followers. Jack, after knowing it plans to get rid of Ralph completely. Jack’s team attacks Ralph and Piggy, and in the fight, Piggy is killed with a big rock. Ralph quickly escapes the savage group and hides in the forest. Jack decides to light the forest on fire, hoping it would burn Ralph too. Ralph, who was exhausted from running away from the fire, had no choice but to come out to the beach because of the fire. He fainted, knowing the boys would kill him after finding him stranded.

The next day when Ralph wakes up, he sees a British naval officer and starts to cry after seeing an adult. Jack and the other boys trying to find Ralph madly see the officer too and realize every wrong thing they have done. They, too, start crying like a baby. The British officer leaves them alone for a while to return to normal. 

 

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