Although it did not have great success after being released—selling fewer than three thousand copies in the United States during before going out of print—it soon went on to become a best-seller.
The book takes place in the midst of an unspecified war. With the exception of Sam and Eric and the choirboys, they appear never to have encountered each other before. The book portrays their descent into savagery; left to themselves on a paradisiacal island, far from modern civilization, the well-educated children regress to a primitive state.
Golding wrote his book as a counterpoint to R. Ballantyne 's youth novel The Coral Island and included specific references to it, such as the rescuing naval officer's description of the children's initial attempts at civilised cooperation as "a jolly good show, like the Coral Island".
The only survivors are boys in their middle childhood or preadolescence. Two boys—the fair-haired Ralph and an overweight, bespectacled boy nicknamed "Piggy"—find a conchwhich Ralph uses as a horn to convene all the survivors to one area.
Ralph is optimistic, believing that grown-ups will come to rescue them but Piggy realises the need to organise: Because Ralph appears responsible for bringing all the survivors together, he immediately commands some authority over the other boys and is quickly elected their "chief". He does not receive the votes of the members of a boys' choir, led by the red-headed Jack Merridew, although he allows the choir boys to form a separate clique of hunters.
Ralph establishes three primary policies: The boys establish a form of democracy by declaring that whoever holds the conch shall also be able to speak at their formal gatherings and receive the attentive silence of the larger group.
Jack organises his choir into a hunting party responsible for discovering a food source. Ralph, Jack, and a quiet, dreamy boy named Simon soon form a loose triumvirate of leaders with Ralph as the ultimate authority.
Upon inspection of the island, the three determine that it has fruit and wild pigs for food. The boys also use Piggy's glasses to create a fire. Although he is Ralph's only real confidant, Piggy is quickly made into an outcast by his fellow "biguns" older boys and becomes an unwilling source of laughs for the other children while being hated by Jack.
Simon, in addition to supervising the project of constructing shelters, feels an instinctive need to protect the "littluns" younger boys. The semblance of order quickly deteriorates as the majority of the boys turn idle; they give little aid in building shelters, spend their time having fun and begin to develop paranoias about the island.
The central paranoia refers to a supposed monster they call the "beast", which they all slowly begin to believe exists on the island. Ralph insists that no such beast exists, but Jack, who has started a power struggle with Ralph, gains a level of control over the group by boldly promising to kill the creature.
At one point, Jack summons all of his hunters to hunt down a wild pig, drawing away those assigned to maintain the signal fire. A ship travels by the island, but without the boys' smoke signal to alert the ship's crew, the vessel continues without stopping.
Ralph angrily confronts Jack about his failure to maintain the signal; in frustration Jack assaults Piggy, breaking his glasses. The boys subsequently enjoy their first feast.
Angered by the failure of the boys to attract potential rescuers, Ralph considers relinquishing his position as leader, but is persuaded not to do so by Piggy, who both understands Ralph's importance and deeply fears what will become of him should Jack take total control.
One night, an aerial battle occurs near the island while the boys sleep, during which a fighter pilot ejects from his plane and dies in the descent. His body drifts down to the island in his parachute; both get tangled in a tree near the top of the mountain. Later on, while Jack continues to scheme against Ralph, the twins Sam and Eric, now assigned to the maintenance of the signal fire, see the corpse of the fighter pilot and his parachute in the dark.
Mistaking the corpse for the beast, they run to the cluster of shelters that Ralph and Simon have erected to warn the others. This unexpected meeting again raises tensions between Jack and Ralph. Shortly thereafter, Jack decides to lead a party to the other side of the island, where a mountain of stones, later called Castle Rock, forms a place where he claims the beast resides.
Only Ralph and a quiet suspicious boy, Roger, Jack's closest supporter, agree to go; Ralph turns back shortly before the other two boys but eventually all three see the parachutist, whose head rises via the wind. They then flee, now believing the beast is truly real.
When they arrive at the shelters, Jack calls an assembly and tries to turn the others against Ralph, asking them to remove Ralph from his position.A review of William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” providing a brief background of the author and an in-depth look at the story “Lord Of The Flies” by William Golding About the author.
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Shadows and Tall Trees 8. Gift for the Darkness 9. A View to a Death Everything you need to know about the writing style of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, written by experts with you in mind.
Lord of the Flies is a novel by Nobel Prize–winning British author William vetconnexx.com book focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their disastrous attempt to govern themselves.