Lord of the Flies by William Golding


William Golding wrote this novel in 1954. Golding fought in World War II and then taught at a school for boys. Both of these experiences influenced Lord of the Flies, which is about what happens to a group of boys who are stranded on an island. The author is concerned with the rules society sets up and what happens when you don’t have rules to follow. Since there aren’t any adults on the island, the boys have to figure out their own rules. Knighted in 1988, Sir William Golding’s novel tells a haunting tale of the intellect clashing with the animal instinct.


Ralph: Ralph is twelve and very handsome. He is convinced that someone will come to rescue the boys. Ralph is smart, fair, and democratic. A leader-type, Ralph is a good guy.

Jack: Jack is a kid who butts heads with Ralph. Jack is the opposite of Ralph. He wants a lot of power, and when he doesn’t get voted the leader, he throws a tantrum and lashes out in a negative way. His way of dealing with people is through violence and fear. As the book goes on, Jack becomes more and more of an evil jerk.

Simon: A loner, Simon is shy, and very spiritual. He has epilepsy and has seizures.

Piggy: Piggy is kind of a loser. Fat and almost blind, he gets picked on by all the other kids. However, Piggy is really smart. He becomes Ralph’s right hand man and gives Ralph a lot of advice.

Roger: The bully of the group. He uses his strength to control the kids and have them fear him. Roger is Jack’s right hand man.

Sam and Eric: Twins that the group thinks of as always together.


In a world where nuclear war is happening, a group of boys are on a plane that gets shot down. They land on a tropical island. The pilot is killed so boys are all alone. The boys wander around. Ralph and Piggy find a conch shell and when they blow on it, all the boys appear. Ralph is elected the leader of the bunch. Jack is appointed as the hunter to get food. An important part of the story emerges here as one of the younger boys tells everyone that there is a beast in the dark woods. This strikes fear into everyone because they all think there is a beast on the island. The hunting continues and Jack finally kills a pig – he enjoys the act of killing. Fears about the beast resurface and many are certain that this big beast exists. Jack decides to leave Ralph’s group and form his own group. Some of the kids go with Jack.

Jack becomes more and more deranged. He kills another pig and puts the head on a stick as some weird ritual gift to the beast of the dark. Pretty much every kid goes to Jack’s big pig roast. Then Simon is all alone in the woods, has a seizure, and hallucinates that the pig’s head on the stick is talking to him.

When Simon walks back, he finds a dead guy in a tree attached to a parachute. He figures out that this guy could have been the "beast" people saw. So he goes to tell the others. Over at Jack’s camp, Ralph and Piggy have joined the party. The weather is stormy. Ralph and Jack fight over who should be the leader. Jack says he is the leader, but Ralph has the conch shell which calls the boys together. They end up doing the pig-killing dance where they chant "Kill the Beast, Cut his throat, Spill his blood." The hunters get so riled up and excited that when Simon returns, everyone attacks him and they beat him and kill him.

The next night, the hunters go after Ralph and Piggy and steal Piggy’s glasses, making him nearly blind. They throw a boulder over a cliff, which destroys the conch and hits Piggy who falls off a cliff and dies. Jack then makes himself the leader. The next day he plans to search the island and kill Ralph. Just as they’re about to find him, Ralph goes to the beach and finds a soldier (adult). Yeehaw, Ralph is saved.