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Lord of the Flies Chapter Summaries by William Golding - All Chapter Summaries of Lord of the Flies

Updated on August 16, 2013

Lord of the Flies (book)


Lord of the Flies Chapter Summary 1 - The Sound of the Shell

An airplane crashed on an island. There is a boy called Ralph, who survived the crash. He also meets just right after the beginning of the book a boy, who will be called “Piggy” (due to his body stature).

The two of them continue to wander around and eventually find the beach. Ralph takes a shell and with a certain technique, this shell makes a loud sound so that maybe other people will hear him. This was all Piggy’s idea.

Many children hear Ralph and they all gather at Ralph’s place. There seem to be no adults. The children vary strongly in age. Some are as young as six years whereas the oldest are something with twelve (Ralph is twelve).
One of the older children, who also is a leader of a choir, has the name Merridew, who acts somewhat noble. Ralph proposes that someone should be their leader and there is a vote between him and Merridew, where Ralph will be the leader, finally.

Ralph decides to inspect the island if it really is an island. With him come Merridew and a younger boy called Simon. Piggy also wants to come with them and he tells Ralph that he does not want to be called like this. Ralph understands him, but he says that everyone has his name and that it will not change.

They continue their journey through the island and finally realize that in fact, it is an island. Ralph suggests going over the mountain back to their original place, as he thinks it might be a shortcut. The climbing seems to be quite hard and the jungle becomes denser and denser. But after some time, climbing up the mountain becomes easier and on the top of the mountain, they have a great view over some parts of the island.

On their way down the mountain, they first realize that they are actually very hungry. They spot a pig, who was caught in a curtain of creepers and was desperately trying to escape. Merridew instinctively takes out his pocket knife and wants to stab the pig to death, but he hesitates, because he realized, what he was actually going to do. The pig finally escapes. The three of them return to their original place, where everyone else was already waiting.

Lord of the Flies Chapter Summary 2 - Fire on the Mountain

A meeting was called with the conch shell again. After the meeting, they decided on making a big fire on the platform, so a passing ship could see them and they might be rescued. Up there on the mountain, they all gathered some woods, so they are able to make a fire. They still were in a need of something that could light the logs. They took Piggy’s glasses, even though he didn’t want to give it first, and they made a fire. Accidentally, the fire found its way off the platform and part of the forest started to burn. They all went away, but Piggy was the only one who noticed that a “littlun” wasn’t here. The reader does not know what has happened to the small boy, but he is assumed to have died, because he probably remained in the small part of the forest when everyone was looking for burnable logs.

Table of Contents

Lord of the Flies Chapter Summary 3 - Huts on the Beach

Ralph and Simon are building small houses for shelter. No one else is helping the two of them and later Jack joins them. He just came back from the hunt, telling them that he failed at catching a pig, but will succeed next time. There comes up an argument between Ralph and Jack, because he isn’t helping them either, because it is more important to have shelter first and then meat.

After the argument, Ralph notices that Simon has vanished. He thinks that he is doing something else like everybody, but in fact, he went into the jungle to get to know the environment to experience the island.

Lord of the Flies Chapter Summary 4 - Painted Faces and Long Hair

At the beach, they see a passing ship. Everyone is very excited about to be rescued, but Ralph and the others realize that the fire isn’t burning (even though two boys always have to watch after it).

They hurry up the mountain to light it again, but at that time, the ship already passed and was out of sight. Just after this, Jack and some other buys who were hunting with him came back and Jack gloriously told Ralph, Piggy and the others that they killed a pig. Ralph is not interested in this, because he accuses Jack of not taking care of the fire. Jack repeats that he killed a pig and they have now meat to eat, but he becomes soon mad and angry and destroys Piggy’s glasses partly (only one side remained). This is also a symbol of the regress in their morality. He apologizes to Ralph, but not to Piggy. At first, Jack doesn’t want to give Piggy some of the meat, but does afterwards. The chapter ends with Ralph wanting to call an assembly once again.

Lord of the Flies Chapter Summary 5 - Beast from Water

Ralph’s alone on the beach, planning his speech for the next assembly. He realized that there need to be more strict rules and that there is more order. It is then, when the reader realizes real leader qualities in him. He recognizes Piggy’s logical approach in thinking and goes through his new rules. Then, he calls the others with his conch shell.

At the assembly, he outlines the following points:

  • The fire is always to be on and to be taken care of.
  • Individual fires are forbidden. If one needs fire, then he will have to go up to the signal fire.
  • There is a special spot, where one has to pee etc.
  • Everyone has to help to make the shelters.
  • There is no beast on the island.

It is noticeable that the fire is the most important point. Otherwise, they can’t be rescued. But the discussion soon is only about the imaginary “beastie”. The littluns are very afraid of it and thus, reinforcing the fear in the bigger ones.

Piggy arguments in a very logical way, telling them, that it is all only in their heads and that there cannot be any supernatural monsters. Jack is also against the idea of such a thing, but his approach is much more irrational and emotional and not at all logically argued.

Ralph loses control when Jack starts to talk without holding the conch shell and goes away with his hunters to the beach and the whole assembly fails. Ralph loses his inner will to go on. But Simon and Piggy encourage him to go on, because Simon knows if Jack would become the leader of them, they will never be rescued and there will only be hunters on the island, living a very primitive live. Piggy knows that Jack hates him (but he does not know why) and fears that he will die one day, because of Jack. Ralph is the only one who has gained the Jack’s respect and stands above him. One consequence is that Piggy is the next one to be made down by Jack.

Lord of the Flies Chapter Summary 6 - Beast from Air

Sam and Eric are on duty this night and watching the fire. Suddenly, they see something (a dead body falls from the sky - died in the Second World War) and their fear lets them instantly think it must be the beast. They run away down to the beach and wake up Ralph and tell him about the latest happening on the island. Ralph, Sam and Eric wake up the other ones to have another assembly.

They try to think of a place, where the beast would potentially hide. They agree that it must be in the one single part on the island that was left unexplored. They soon reach the end of the island and this place, arme with wooden weapons. Piggy was the only one to remain at the beach to watch the littluns. They reach a thin walkway that leads to a hill with small caves there.

They all are terrified by the idea of going nearer and watching out for the beast. Ralph, as the leader of the group, decides to go there and investigate this place. Jack accompanies him. But they don’t find a beast there and declare this place as safe.

When they return the other ones were doing random things and want to build a fort, but Ralph angrily reminds them that they have to lit the signal fire again on the top of the mountain.

Lord of the Flies Chapter Summary 7 - Shadows and Tall Trees

The boys are on their way back to the beach. But Jack still wants to climb the mountain, because he thinks the beast most be hiding there. Jack does not obey Ralph's orders and the struggle of power between them becomes more and more evident. Ralph then goes with Jack to, accompanied by Roger.

When they finally reach the mountain it is already dark and they barely see anything. They hear some strangely sounding noises and also see an unindentifiable sillhouette. They think it must be the beast they see, but actually, it is just the dead body from the previous chapter...

Lord of the Flies Chapter Summary 8 - Gift for the Darkness

Jack leaves Ralph's group and goes to a place down the beach. He invites everyone to attend his "party" or feast, as it is called in the book, because there will be meat.

Ralph, Piggy, Simon and all the others start to build a new signal fire at the beach. Simon doesn't remain long and goes into the jungle without anyone noticing him. And steadily the other boys leave Ralph and Piggy and go all to Jack's place.

Meanwhile, Jack and a few other boys went into the jungle to hunt. They come across a fat mother pig and chase it until they kill it. Roger even sticks his spear right up the pig's behind. They separate the body from the head and the head, sticking on the spear, is placed into the ground. They call it "a gift for the darkness" in hope the beast won't attack them. It is also a sign of worshipping.
The boys realize that they don't have fire. So they go back to Ralph and simply some burning logs of his signal fire. Jack also holds a short speech that they have meat, the hunters can protect them and so on. In the end, everyone, including Ralph and Piggy is at Jack's place and it becomes obvious that Jack has become the new leader.

Simon also leaves the working boys, but he didn't go to Jack's place. He goes into the jungle and after some while, he meets the pig's head, sticking on the top of the spear. Suddenly, the head starts to talk to him and the reader figures out that the pig's head is the symbol for the Lord of the Flies. After the disturbing talk, Simon loses consciousness.

Lord of the Flies Chapter Summary 9 - A View into a Death

Ralph and Piggy go to Jack's feast. Meanwhile, Simon climbs up the mountain and figures out what the beast acutally is. It was only the dead man in a previous chapter, who was thought to be the beast by Samneric.

Excited by his enlightment, he runs down to the beach, where all the boys are. It was already night and it was hard to see something in the darkness. When Simon came out of the jungle, the boys were afraid of him and thought he was the beast. In their excitement and fear, they made a circle around Simon and sang the words: Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!
They stabbed him to death (not intentionally) and it was never revealed what the beast actually was.

Lord of the Flies Chapter Summary 10 - The Shell and the Glasses

Jack's tribe realizes that they cannot make a fire without Piggy's glasses and so Jack decides that they are going to steal it at night. They look for the glasses everywhere. Also in the shelters. Ralph, Samneric and Piggy wake up and they have a fight in the darkness, not sure who is hitting who. After the incident, they realized that Jack and his guys were there and stole Piggy's glasses and not the conch shell.

Lord of the Flies Chapter Summary 11 - Castle Rock

Piggy wants his glasses back, because he cannot see anything without them. The four boys, Ralph, Piggy and Samneric, go to the castle rock, Jack's new fort.

When they arrive there, Jack is on the hunt with a few other boys and Ralph speaks to the remaining wants. When Jack comes back, Ralph also tries to talk with him, calmly, but Jack's behaviour is too provoking. They have a fight and Jack even uses a weapon, what is unfair. Ralph wins the fight anyway, but on the fort, Roger is already about to make the big rock fall. It also happens and Piggy is hit deadly by the rock, And with Piggy's death, the conch shell breaks apart and "cease to exist" as it is written in the book.
Samneric are captured by Jack's savages and are forced to join Jack's "tribe". Ralph flees and hides in the jungle.

Lord of the Flies Chapter Summary 12 - Cry of the Hunters

In the last chapter of Lord of the Flies, the savages try to kill Ralph. Ralph hides in the forest, but has to run away eventually. At some point, his persuaders set the island of fire, what is actually very dumb of them, because they destroy everything they would need in order to live on the island. Ralph runs towards the beach and when everything seems to be hopeless he meets a naval officer, who has seen the smoke of the burning island.

They all gather there and are taken on the officer's ship.

Table of Contents

Stefan Zweig – Fear

Hermann Hesse – the Steppenwolf

Hermann Hesse – Siddharta

Hermann Hesse – Demian

Hermann Hesse – Narcissus and Goldmund

Hermann Hesse – Glass Bead Game

Jean-Paul Sartre – Huis Clos

Molière – The Imaginary Invalid

William Golding – Lord of the Flies

Bernand Shaw – Pygmalion

Vsevolod Garshin – A red flower

Viktor Pelevin – The life of insects

Tolstoy – The Death of Ivan Ilyich

More Summaries

Novalis – Heinrich von Ofterdingen

Goethe – Faust I

Goethe – Clavigo

Goethe – Iphigenie auf Tauris

Goethe – Egmont

Goethe – Stella

E.T.A Hoffmann – The Sandman

Joseph von Eichendorff – Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts

Joseph von Eichendorff – The Marble Statue

Joseph von Eichendorff – Schloss Dürande

Georg Büchner – Woyzeck

Copyright © 2012 by mbyL a.k.a. Slaven Cvijetic. All rights reserved.

© 2012 Slaven Cvijetic


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