Lord of the Flies - Chapter Summaries


Chapter One: The Sound of a Shell.
The first chapter concentrates on describing character personalities. Ralph, Piggy, Jack and the rest of the choir are introduced after Ralph blows the conch. The group elects Ralph, 'the chief' and they begin to establish rules and boundaries. Ralph, Jack and Simon explore the island and begin plans for shelters from the weather. The trio find that the island is a fertile place. It has natural fruit, fresh water and wild pigs which could be hunted as a form of meat. Piggy is immediately ostracized from the group and Ralph also decides that a bonfire on the mountain should be lit permanently on the mountain as a constant smoke signal.

Chapter Two: Fire on the Mountain.
Ralph calls another meeting to discuss the fire on the mountain. Jack decides forming a hunting party to hunt pigs. A small boy claims to have seen a serpent-like beast, but the idea is quickly discarded after Ralph and Jack convince the group otherwise. The group hurriedly rushes to the mountain and collects wood for a fire, which breaks up the meeting. At first the boys have nothing to light the fire, until Jack robs Piggy of his glasses and uses them to magnify the sun's rays to heat the tinder-dry wood. The fire, although majestic, unfortunately only generates a tiny amount of smoke, so the boys stack green branches on to get more smoke. At the next meeting, Ralph decides that more rules should be introduced, including groups to be set out for specific tasks (e.g. Shelters, Fire, Hunting). Also, Piggy brings up a subject of concern. He reveals that one child is missing, and the group fear for his life.

Chapter Three: Huts on the Beach.
Ralph and Simon start to build shelters on their own and become angry because of the amount of kids who won't help. Ralph and Jack chat about each others views of their predicaments, and find that they are very different. Jack starts to become obsessed with hunting and killing pigs and loses sight of their goal- to be rescued. The younger children spend more and more time playing and less and less time helping.

Chapter Four: Painted Faces and Long Hair.
The hunters start painting themselves to stay camouflaged from their targets. Piggy suggests making a sundial to tell the time, but has no support. A ship sails past the island but doesn't notice the boys because Jack's choir had let the fire out completely. The boys had lost interest in the fire and decided to go hunting instead. This makes Ralph angry. Jack and his hunters catch a pig, but Ralph doesn't care. Jack re-lights the fire and prepares the pig's meat for a feast. Ralph is still not satisfied and calls a meeting down on the platform, beneath the mountain.

Chapter Five: Beast from Water.
Ralph calls a meeting, still using the conch system to give kids the right to talk. He tells the group that there idea of water carriers quickly became boring to them and that shelters were being slept in by all but only two people were making them. He was also displeased with the younger children, expelling bodily waste wherever they pleased, instead of in the rock, near the bathing pool, as they agreed. This brought a chorus of laughter. The conversation soon switched to the beast. Some, even most of the group had doubts on whether it was just a figment of the "little'uns" imaginations. Jack talks out of turn and this sparks a verbal brawl between Jack and Ralph. The group now starts to go their separate ways- either with Jack, or Ralph. Jack's hunters decide to hunt the beast and settle the mind of the young kids.

Chapter Six: Beast from Air.
Ralph and his friends fetch wood for the fire. Later that night, the twins rush to Ralph and Piggy and tell them that they have seen the beast. They ask to use their spears. Ralph went with the other to hunt for the beast. They venture into the jungle and into a cave but find nothing. Jack decides that the cave is a good place for a fort. The boys start to turn against Ralph and his ideas and begin to join Jack in his hunting.

Chapter Seven: Shadows and Tall Trees.
Ralph hunts with Jack for