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Chapter Summary and Analysis of Lord of The Flies by William Golding

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Table of contents

  1. The Sound Of The Shell
  2. Fire on the Mountain
  3. Huts on the Beach
  4. Painted Faces and Long Hair
    Beast from Water
    Beast from Air
  5. Shadows and Tall Trees
  6. Gift for the Darkness
  7. Devil’s Belongings
    A View to a Death
    The Shell and the Glasses
    Castle Rock
    Cry of the Hunters

The Sound Of The Shell

Awareness Drawn in the Group

Lord of the Flies opens with Ralph encountering Piggy. Their conversation provides the background of the situation they are in: A group of boys was being evacuated to an unnamed destination during a nuclear war. Their plane had crashed and dragged out to sea, leaving the boys stranded on the exotic island. It’s likely that no one knows the boys are because of an atom bomb’s explosion.

Ralph actually seems delighted to be on a tropical island without adults, however Piggy is less pleased. The two boys made their way to the beach out of the jungle. On the beach, Ralph investigates a pink granite platform overlooking a long pool that had formed in the beach. Later on, after a short swim he spies a conch shell and thinks to use it to summon any other survivors on the beach. Soon, after Piggy urges him to use it, boys between ages 6 and 12 come running out the jungle onto the beach near them. Afterwards, the boys discuss about the situation and to vote on a chief, choosing Ralph over Jack. Ralph suggests then that Jack remains in charge of his group of choirboys classifying them to be hunters. Ralph decides to forms a search party, reaching out for help and to get rescued from the island. Jack, Simon along with him to discover the island to be uninhabited. They enjoy their haunt into the wild, being exhilarated with adventure and the new friendship between them. On their return, they encounter a piglet trapped in jungle vines, testing Jack’s hunting skills and nerve. Jack pulls out his knife he possessed but hesitates, and the pig gets away; he promises fiercely that next time he will cooperate.

Fire on the Mountain

Smoke Up-Top

Later afternoon after the three boys return, Ralph blows the conch to call the other boys to assemble while they had to describe the results of the exploration. Jack interrupts immediately to elaborate on the importance of an army for hunting pigs. So that only one person will speak at a time in the group, Ralph demands for a conch rule: Only the boy holding the conch can speak, and only Ralph can interrupt the one who holds the conch. First, Piggy takes the conch so he can make the point that they are still undiscovered and that they could be on the island for quite a while. At this point, the group of littlest boys started to describe the “beastie” they saw in the woods the night before while the older boys quickly assured the little ones that there is no beastie. Ralph guarantees that they will definitely be rescued, mentioning that they’ll need to attract passing ships using fire. Quickly, Jack takes over the group, leading the group up the mountain to create a fire. Ralph had attempted to maintain them organized and in good order, but everyone had rushed after Jack so he followed up.

Using Piggy’s glasses, the boys started a fire after finding a huge patch of dead wood on the mountaintop. Then, Jack tells his hunters to signal with the fire. Suddenly, in the midst of a complaint that no one will let him talk, Piggy sees that they’ve started a forest fire. Piggy, scolds the boys realizing they had started a forest fire and for the lack of thinking ahead that they could have built shelters. I believe that apart from the boys themselves the signal fire and the “beastie” could carry symbolic meanings. The signal fire is like the boys maintaining their ties with civilization: as long as the fire burns, they retain hope that they will get rescued, but they begin to lose interest in fire after becoming increasingly obsessed with killing or receiving power.

Huts on the Beach

Shelter on the Seashore

Alone on a pig hunt, Jack had learned some tracking techniques yet was frustrated that he may not catch one again. Jack then returns from the jungle, and goes to Simon and Jack’s area where they were working on building shelters. Although, all the boys have agreed to help and build shelters, only Simon had put in effort along with Ralph. Ralph emphasized the need for shelters while Jack insists that he takes the other boys in need of meat. In addition, a new side of Simon had been revealed in this chapter. He possessed a secret hideout in the jungle formed by vines, trees and some boulders resembling some sort of hut. After helping Ralph with the shelters all day he snuck to his place, making sure he wasn’t seen or followed.

Painted Faces and Long Hair

New Masks

The chapter opens up with the progression of the island throughout the days and the boys playing together. Jack gathers the hunters to reveal his new strategy for hunting by using charcoal and clay to camouflage their faces. Later on, Jack assigns Samneric who was on fire duty to join in a hunt along with the hunters. Ralph had spotted a ship in the distance and supposed that the crew on the ship might spy the smoke signal. In fact, Simon points out that there is no smoke because the fire had gone out and left unattended; he races with Ralph and Piggy tagging along up to the mountain’s top. Where in fact, by the time all three had reached the fire site, the ship had gone out of sight. Meanwhile, Jack and his hunters are proud marching towards them with a carcass of a pig. Ralph addresses the anger about the fire left unsupervised to Jack who apologizes. While they eat the pig, tension eases and the boys reenact the kill with a dance of celebration then get called by Ralph to assembly.

Beast from Water

Creature at the Sea

Ralph had called everybody to attend the assembly as reminder of the agreement they had to observe sanitation measures, building shelters, gather fresh water and to keep the fire going. Still, many of the younger boys were overwhelmed with the night coming and brought up the beastie; Ralph puts it to the side again saying if there was a beast on the island he would have seen it during hunting trips. Furthermore, one of the little ones proceeds to describe a large creature he saw in the jungle yet Simon reveals that it was him, going to his special hideout. Before falling asleep, Percival expresses the beast could arise from the sea, while Simon attempts to explain that something in the nature or the boys themselves could be their actual fear. Regardless of the explanation, it had come out unsuccessful advancing to speaking about ghosts and who believes in them. Rebelling against Ralph’s authority, Jack leads the boys to the beach for a tribal dance. Ralph had remain on the platform with Piggy and Simon urging for everyone to return, but hesitating not moving with confidence trampled. Suddenly, the three boys get startled by a mysterious cry as Percival awakes alone in the dark.

Beast from Air

Figure Through the Wind

After the assembly the boys set themselves to sleep while an aerial battle was taking place above them. A casualty from the duel floats down to the island on his parachute. Samneric, who was supervising the fire on the mountain, caught a glimpse of the body’s actions and the parachute inflating by the breeze. The group then dashed in panic to Ralph exaggerating their observations out of fear. At dawn, Ralph calls the boys up for another assembly, where they had decided to investigate a part of the island unexplored: a castle-like rock formation at one end. Ralph and the others go to the castle while Piggy remains to watch over the little ones. Bravely, Ralph takes the lead going first by himself, followed by Jack a few minutes after. After they initiate that there is no beast, the other boys quickly join them in the castle earning to play. Once more, Ralph announces that they need to all check up on the fire while they resists, yet he forces the topic and Jack leads the way up to the fire site.

Shadows and Tall Trees

Forest Silhouettes

On their way to the mountain, Ralph catches a boar with his spear while Jack got slightly wounded on the hunt. Urging the all the boys on their way back, Ralph realizes the difficult path before them. Simon then had volunteered to cross the island alone to inform Piggy the others won’t be home after the night falls. By the time they reach the bottom of the mountain, it had already got dark but Jack, Ralph and Roger volunteered to continue the search for the beast while the rest of the boys return to the platform. Once they have reached the burnt patch, Ralph who was tired of Jack mocking, had challenged Jack to go on forward by himself; he later on returns from the mountaintop terrified. Roger and Ralph investigate also and become as equally terrified once they caught glimpse of the beast: the deceased paratrooper appeared to be a living creature similar to an ape that seemed to look at them when the breeze catches his parachute. In the end, the boys flee through the dark to the platform in horror.

Gift for the Darkness

Devil’s Belongings

Being provoked, Jack got infuriated by Ralph telling Piggy that even Jack would hide if the beat would attack them. With most mutiny, Jack tries to convince the other boys to impeach Ralph. Sometime later, Jack announces his courage and runs off in the forest after the boys refuse to vote against Ralph. Simon suggests that they all go check what’s up on the mountain yet everyone object. Once Jack leaves, Piggy proclaims wanting them to build a fire signal on the beach once again so they shouldn’t have to go up the mountain. While everyone proceeds to gather wood, most of the older boys crept away with Jack, and Simon disappears going to his hidden spot to rest.

Meanwhile, Jack had caught another pig and had tended its head on a stick as offer to the beast, coincidentally in sight to Simon’s concealed spot. Shortly afterwards, Simon loses his conscious while hallucinating that the head was talking to him. Jack had stolen some burning branches that were on the beach’s fire for a roast; also inviting Ralph’s tribe as a bribe to join his.

Ralph tries to rally his group to his side but loses his train of thought when he tries to remember the importance of being rescued, causing them to doubt him briefly.

A View to a Death

Predicting a Passing

Simon awakens from his blackout and goes up to the mountain to the beast spot during the unrolling storm on the island. He encounters the body of the paratrooper and investigates it realizes what it could actually be. From his location, he saw the other boys at Jack’s fire camp so he made his way to tell them about the news. Out of curiosity and hunger, more of the older boys from Ralph’s camp head to Jack’s camp; they ate and then Jack asks if they’d like to join his group or remain with Ralph’s. Ralph hopes for the boys to remain as his group, reminding them of the election their first day, however Jack has a bigger bond with them playing the role of a tribal chief. Some time passing, Jack orders a dance in response to the storm that had spread out over the party. Abruptly, Simon comes out of the forest and into the core of the dance circle they had made, trying to explain the real identity of the beast on the mountain’s top. The group being uncontrolled and caught up in dancing, weren’t table to hear Simon and at the moment had turned on his as if he was the beast and murdered him. Afterwards, the boys back off as the rain continued to grow, leaving Simon’s figure on the beach while a tide carried it away. That same night, the storm had filled the dead soldier’s parachute and lifted him up and across the island to the sea, while the boys scattered screaming in horror.

Simon had understood the nature of evil that was on the island yet as written above, he wasn’t able to share his revelation with the boys not being ready to understand or accept it and the murder. They had been living a behavior of the beast’s actions while they had believed themselves to be some type of painted savages; Jack’s idea of fun–and the true beast’s as well.

The Shell and the Glasses

Eyewear Desperation

The upcoming morning, Ralph had observed that the only boys left in his camp were some of the little ones and Piggy along with Samneric. Thinking more clearly, he realizes and points out to Piggy that they had murdered Simon. Piggy doesn’t want Samneric to know that he and Ralph had somewhat been involved in the murderous dance and refuses to use the term “murder”. Jack goes berserk, acting more barbarous, as example having one boy being tied up and beaten up once he had gotten angered. Also, he follows up to convince his followers that they had killed the beast the previous night, and that now they should raid on Ralph’s camp to get fire for another pig feast. Jack elaborates that the beast had come to them disguised in huge denial to them killing anyone former to the group. Moreover, the boys and Ralph decide rather than collecting more branches in the dark, to let the fire die down. Jack’s group goes ahead and attacks Ralph’s group and steals Piggy’s glasses, being unable to steal burning branches.

Castle Rock

Palace in Woodland

Piggy urges that they have an assembly where they decide to appropriately ask for his glasses back as for the importance of making the fire signal also. Observing the other boys, Samneric expresses his fear of interacting with them, seeing they have completely developed in to savages. Surfaces from the forest after hunting, Jack commands Ralph to go back to his part of the island. Jack’s boys shortly threaten Ralph with their spears after labeling Jack as a thief for stealing Piggy’s glasses. Uncontrollably, the savages laugh at Ralph and his idea of having need of signal fire. Picking a fist fight with Ralph again, Jack also gives orders to his tribe to tie Samneric. Once more, Piggy interrupts prompting to have a speech while holding the conch. Piggy began speaking about the boys becoming savages; Piggy comes to sight with a boulder sent his way by Roger, which then had knocked him off the cliff and to his death on the rocks below, carried away by a wave. Samneric remains tied up while Roger prepared to torture him, while Jack had exclaimed with victory throwing a spear at Ralph which had bounced off but had wounded him before he fled for his life.

Cry of the Hunters

Mournful Dash

In summary, the tribe was inside Castle Rock feasting while Ralph had made his way to the platform. Once arrived, Ralph thinks about going to Jack’s end of island to reason again not wanting to spend the night alone in the shelter. On his way, he encounters the pig’s skull that had exchanged words with Simon, which he then knocks down and takes its stake as a weapon. Ralph spots Samneric, who was on watch after being forced to join the tribe. Cautiously, he attempts to speak to them and gain back some trust; they gave him some meat to eat and told him about the plans for a manhunt the upcoming day, yet someone had heard them talking and they got punished. Afterwards, Ralph discovers a dense thicket to rest for the night which had gotten betrayed by Samneric in the morning. The tribe then rolled boulders into it and set it on fire not being able to reach him in it. Ralph then rapidly goes off on the run, while being followed by them who are communicating with an ‘ululating cry’. While Ralph was still on the run, he had spotted another thicket but was immediately discovered there too. The fire from the savages had spread across the whole island while he still had to outrun them. Finally, he encounters a newly arrived British naval officer that had been attracted by the smoke from the island’s humongous fire. In the end, Ralph sobs at everything he had lost, while being rescued and taken on the ship off the island.

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Chapter Summary And Analysis Of Lord Of The Flies By William Golding. (2019, August 08). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 9, 2023, from
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