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Survival, Savagery, and the Fragility of Civilization: A Summary of ‘Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies is a novel that tells the story of a group of British boys who are stranded on a deserted island after their plane is shot down during a war. The boys try to organize themselves and survive, but they soon fall into savagery and violence, as they are corrupted by their primal instincts and fears. The novel explores the themes of human nature, civilization, power, leadership, morality, and evil.

A Summary of ‘Lord of the Flies

The novel is divided into twelve chapters, each with a subtitle that indicates the main event or focus of the chapter. Here are the chapter titles and subtitles:

  • Chapter 1: The Sound of the Shell – The boys meet and elect Ralph as their leader.
  • Chapter 2: Fire on the Mountain – The boys light a signal fire, but it goes out of control and kills a boy.
  • Chapter 3: Huts on the Beach – Ralph and Simon build shelters, while Jack hunts for pigs.
  • Chapter 4: Painted Faces and Long Hair – Jack paints his face and leads a hunt, while a ship passes by unnoticed.
  • Chapter 5: Beast from Water – Ralph calls a meeting to discuss the beast and the rules, but it ends in chaos.
  • Chapter 6: Beast from Air – A dead parachutist lands on the mountain, and the boys mistake it for the beast.
  • Chapter 7: Shadows and Tall Trees – Ralph, Jack, and Roger climb the mountain and see the beast.
  • Chapter 8: Gift for the Darkness – Jack leaves the group and forms his tribe of savages, who kill a pig and offer its head to the beast.
  • Chapter 9: A View to a Death – Simon talks to the pig’s head, which he calls the Lord of the Flies, and discovers the truth about the beast. He is killed by the other boys in a frenzy.
  • Chapter 10: The Shell and the Glasses – Ralph and Piggy are attacked by Jack’s tribe, who steal Piggy’s glasses to make fire.
  • Chapter 11: Castle Rock – Ralph and Piggy confront Jack’s tribe at Castle Rock, where Roger kills Piggy and destroys the conch shell.
  • Chapter 12: Cry of the Hunters – Ralph is hunted by Jack’s tribe, who set the island on fire. He is rescued by a naval officer, who sees the boys and their savagery.

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