Short summary - Lord of the Flies - William Gerald Golding

British literature summaries -

Short summary - Lord of the Flies
William Gerald Golding

The duration of the action is not defined. As a result of a nuclear explosion that happened somewhere, a group of teenagers who were taken to the evacuation is on a desert island. The first on the seashore are Ralph and a fat boy with glasses nicknamed Piggy. Finding a large shell at the bottom of the sea, they use it like a horn and convene all the guys. Boys run from three years to fourteen; the last ranks come singers of the church choir, led by Jack Meridow. Ralph offers to choose the "main". In addition to him, Jack claims to be the leader, but the vote ends in favor of Ralph, who offers Jack to lead the choristers, making them hunters.

A small detachment of Ralph, Jack, and Simon, a fragile, swooning chorist, goes into reconnaissance to determine if they really are on the island. Pig, in spite of his requests, is not taken with him.

Climbing uphill, the boys experience a sense of unity and delight. On the way back, they notice a piggy tangled in the vines. Jack is already lifting the knife, but something stops him: he is not ready to kill yet. While he hesitates, the pig manages to escape, and the boy is ashamed of his indecision, swearing himself the next time to deliver a mortal blow.

The boys are returning to the camp. Ralph gathers a meeting and explains that now they will have to decide everything themselves. He proposes to establish rules, in particular, not to tell everyone at once, but to give voice to the one who holds the horn - as they call the sea shell. Children are not yet afraid that they may not be saved soon, and they are looking forward to a fun life on the island.

Suddenly, the kids push forward a sickly boy of about six with a birthmark half face. It turns out that he saw a beast at night - a snake, which in the morning turned into a vine. Children suggest that it was a dream, a nightmare, but the boy stands firmly on his own. Jack promises to search the island and check if there are snakes; Ralph says with annoyance that there is no beast.

Ralph convinces the guys that they, of course, will be saved, but for this you need to build a large fire on the top of the mountain and support it so that they can be seen from the ship.

Together, they stack a fire and set it on fire with the help of Piggy-glasses. Maintaining fire takes on Jack with his hunters.

It soon turns out that no one wants to work seriously: only Simon and Ralph continue to build huts; hunters, carried away by hunting, completely forgot about the fire. Due to the fact that the fire went out, the guys did not notice from the ship passing by. This becomes the occasion for the first serious quarrel between Ralph and Jack. Jack, just at that moment who killed the first pig, is offended that his feat was not appreciated, although he realizes the justice of Ralph's rebukes. From impotent anger, he breaks his glasses to Piggy, teases him. Ralph is struggling to restore order and assert his supremacy.

To maintain order, Ralph is convening another meeting, now realizing how important it is to be able to correctly and consistently express your thoughts. He again recalls the need to abide by the rules they themselves established. But the main thing for Ralph is to overcome the fear that has crept into the souls of the kids. Having taken the word, Jack suddenly pronounces the forbidden word "beast." And in vain Khryusha convinces everyone that there is no beast, no fear, «unless you scare each other,» - the kids do not want to believe this. Little Percival Weems Madison introduces additional confusion, claiming that "the beast leaves the sea." And only Simon reveals the truth. «Maybe it’s us ourselves ...» he says.

At this meeting, Jack, feeling his strength, refuses to obey the rules and promises to track down the beast. The boys are divided into two camps - those who personify the mind, law and order (Piggy, Ralph, Simon), and those who represent the blind force of destruction (Jack, Roger and other hunters).

On the same night, the twins Eric and Sam, who were on duty on a mountain near the fire, run to the camp with the news that they saw the beast. All day the boys scour the island, and only in the evening Ralph, Jack and Roger go to the mountain. There, in the wrong light of the moon, they take for the beast the parachutist’s corpse hanging from a downed plane and rush to flee in fear.

At the new meeting, Jack openly rebukes Ralph for cowardice, offering himself as a leader. Having not received support, he goes into the forest.

Gradually, Piggy and Ralph begin to notice that less and less children remain in the camp, and they realize that they left for Jack.

The dreamer Simon, who has chosen a glade in the forest where he can be alone, is witnessing a pig hunt. As a victim to the «beast», hunters put their pork head on a stake - this is the Lord of the flies: after all, the head is completely surrounded by flies. Once seeing, Simon can no longer look away from "these inevitably recognizing eyes from ancient times," because the devil himself is looking at him. «You knew ... that I was part of you. An inseparable part, »the head says, as if hinting that it is embodied evil that creates fear.

A little later, hunters led by Jack raid the camp to get fire. Their faces are smeared with clay: under the guise it is easier to create atrocities. Capturing the fire, Jack invites everyone to join his squad, seducing a free-hunter and food.

Ralph and Piggy are terribly hungry, and they and the other guys go to Jack. Jack again urges everyone to join his army. He is confronted by Ralph, who recalls that he was elected in the main democratic way. But with his reminder of civilization, Jack contrasts the primitive dance, accompanied by the call: «Beast Beat! Cut the throat! »Suddenly, Simon appears on the set, who was on the mountain and with his own eyes made sure that there was no beast there. He tries to tell about his discovery, but in the dark he is mistaken for a beast and killed in a wild ritual dance.

Jack's «tribe» is located in a «castle», on a rock reminiscent of a fortress, where with the help of a simple lever on the enemy you can throw stones. Ralph, meanwhile, is trying his best to maintain a fire, their only hope of salvation, but Jack, who sneaked into the camp one night, steals Khryushin’s glasses, with the help of which the guys made a fire.

Ralph, Piggy and the twins go to Jack in the hope of returning the glasses, but Jack meets them with hostility. In vain, Piggy tries to convince them that "the law and that they save us" is better than "hunting and ruining everything." In the ensuing fight, the twins are captured. Ralph was badly wounded, and Khryusha was killed by a stone thrown from the fortress ... A horn was broken, the last bastion of democracy. The instinct of murder triumphs, and now Jack as the leader is ready to replace Roger, personifying stupid, bestial cruelty.

Ralph manages to escape. He understands, "that the painted savages will stop at nothing." Seeing that Eric and Sam have become sentinels, Ralph tries to lure them to his side, but they are too scared. They only inform him that a hunt is being prepared for him. Then he asks them to take the "hunters" away from his shelter: he wants to hide near the castle.

However, fear is stronger than the concepts of honor, and the twins give it to Jack. Ralph is smoked out of the forest, not allowing him to hide ... Like a hunted beast, Ralph rushes about the island and suddenly, having run ashore, stumbles upon a naval officer. «They could have looked more decent,» he rebukes the guys. The news of the death of two boys amazes him. And imagining how it all began, he says: «Everything then looked wonderful. Just Coral Island.