Lord of the Flies Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Lord of the Flies.
This section contains 571 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Lord of the Flies Summary & Study Guide Description

Lord of the Flies Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

Lord of the Flies is a novel written by William Golding, an English writer. The story begins when a group of boys find themselves without adult supervision after an evacuation attempt from a war zone leaves them lost on a deserted island. The boys gather together and choose a leader for themselves, a young boy named Ralph. However, it does not take long before Ralph discovers that it is much harder to be an adult than he thought. None of the other boys want to be told what to do. None of them put much effort into building a shelter or doing other things required for their survival.

Jack, who is Ralph’s rival for the leadership, is the lead hunter. Jack has become somewhat primal, enjoying the freedom of not having adults around to tell him what to do and how to do it. For that reason, Jack quickly becomes resentful of the rules and tasks Ralph tries to press on him and the other boys.

As a power struggle begins between the two dominate boys, the other boys become overwhelmed with fear. A young boy on the first day of their arrival told everyone of a beast he saw in the jungle before uniting with the others. This has spread fear among the children, especially in light of the fact that this young boy was never seen again. Therefore, when two boys spot something on the hill where they keep a signal fire going, fear spreads quickly among the young boys. Ralph proves himself quite brave in trying to find the beast, but the hunt proves unsuccessful.

In light of the newly arrived beast and the universal fear of it, as well as the struggle that has been taking place almost since the beginning, Jack becomes frustrated with the situation and decides to branch off on his own. Most of the older boys go with Jack. As a gesture of good will, Jack invites the others to participate in a feast with him and his group. Ralph attends, but he is shocked when Jack drives the boys into such a frenzy that they mistake Simon, another boy in their group, for the beast and beat him to death.

A few days later, Jack decides he and his group need a way to make fire. For this reason, they decide to raid Ralph’s camp and steal the glasses belonging to Piggy, Ralph’s most trusted companion. Angry at this theft, Ralph takes Piggy and the last two older boys in his group and confronts Jack. During the confrontation, Piggy is killed by a rock that was loosened and allowed to roll down the hillside by some of Jack’s men. Afraid for his own life, Ralph flees. However, he comes back to try to make peace. Ralph is warned by the two boys from his camp who have now been made a part of Jack’s camp that Jack plans to kill Ralph.

Ralph remains close to Jack’s camp, hoping that he and his boys will not think to look for him there. However, when Ralph’s two remaining friends are threatened, they turn on him. Ralph manages to flee to the other side of the island where he discovers the smoke has been seen by a ship and rescue has arrived. Their rescuer mistakenly assumes the boys have been playing a harmless game of war.

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This section contains 571 words
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