This novel is about a transition from an exciting adventure of some children, to what eventually becomes full-scale war, ending with the naval officer who rescued them. Though I still wonder if they were really saved, because there was a war that was going on outside of the island.
The book begins by introducing two of the characters Ralph and Piggy. They meet each other in the jungle among the creepers. They explore the lagoon together. They find a pool of water that has been warmed by the sun. They swim in it. Then Ralph finds a conch (a shell shaped in a way that when blown it will sound) and blows it, to bring the rest of the boys, who were on the airplane and survived the crash. Last to arrive are the choir, who are dressed in black robes and hats. Their leader is a redhead boy named Jack.
On closer examination it is found that there is a wide range in the age of the boys, from about 6 to 12 years of age. From here on in the book the younger boys are simply referred to as the "littluns" and the older boys as "bigguns" although the younger children are referred to more by their nickname in the story. Ralph is elected chief of the group and his first action is for Jack, Simon, and himself to go on a sco
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Jack's tribe grows in numbers and Jack proclaims that there is to be a sacrifice to the beast. He shows childish behavior and says "I don't want to play with you anymore" and leaves, attempting to form his own "tribe.
It is decided at the meeting held by Ralph that people should only be allowed to speak at meetings if they have possession of the conch, giving the conch a special power to the boys. Above all this though is the importance of a fire being lit and staying alight night and day for a ship to see and hopefully rescue them. Simon also puts forward the thought that "Maybe it's really only us" but because of his shyness he cannot really get his point across. In the chaos as people gather wood and light the fire, one of the "littluns" got left in the woods and was never seen again.
Simon goes to the top of the mountain and finds toat the beast that Sam and Eric saw was really the dead mans parachute flapping in the wind.
At this point a small boy comes forward and tells the boys that he saw a monster which he calls a "beastie" in the woods. At this point Jack first gets his idea to paint himself to sneak up on the pigs. " Simon goes to his place in the forest and has a strange encounter with the devil, who tells him all about how nobody can kill him because he lives within them. ut to check if the island is really an island or is attached to anything else. This is laughed at from the other boys, and they go to the top of the mountain to light their fire for ships. The book says as Piggy came down "The hangman's horror clung around him".
An arguement breaks out between Ralph and Jack over the importance of the hunting compared to the fire, and Jack attempts to be elected as chief, but fails.