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Summary Book

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

“The Lord of the Flies” is a book written by William Golding. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1983. This work reflects the human condition when encountering extreme situations, which can lead to madness and savagery.


Characters from “The Lord of the Flies”:

The main character in the story is Ralph, who is the oldest of his friends, and the leader of the group. We also find other secondary characters that are part of the group of friends of the central character, such as Piggy, who is a friend, with a thick build and very loyal; Jack is another of the young men and he begins to feel jealous of Ralph for the power they have given him to lead the group.

Simón, who is a wise boy and a philosopher, also presents himself; Roger, belongs to the group of Jack and is the assassin of Piggy; British navy officer, who rescues the youth.

Summary of the work:

This story tells us about a group of young British people between the ages of six and twelve, and their plane collided on a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean. There seems to be a worldwide war. These boys are alone without adults. Therefore they must take care of themselves and organize themselves. Ralph is one of the older youth, and he is the “boss” since everyone made the decision because he had the conch shell.

Then the first conflict arises, as young people begin to feel fear for a “beast” somewhere on the island. But the young people start to build a bonfire to get the attention of the boats. To manage to light the fire, they used the glasses of one of the boys named “Piggy”, who is very loyal to Ralph.

The story becomes a bit tense, since Jack, who is another of the young people, is jealous of Ralph’s leadership, and argues that they should focus more on hunting, since there are pigs on that island, instead of lighting the bonfire . As time goes by, Jack and other of the boys begin to grow wilder. For his part, Simon, a young and wise philosopher, is responsible for making shelters with Piggy.

On the island, everything begins to get out of control, and instead of tending the bonfire, the boys kill a pig. The blood of the hunt turns out to be very exciting, but when they were being satisfied with the blood, the fire was extinguished and a ship passed and did not see them. So Jack punched Piggy in the face, and broke one of the lenses of his glasses.

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Then they observe a dead man come down from the sky in a parachute like Mary Poppins on the island. It implies that it comes from the war. But young people think it is the “beast” and start looking for it everywhere. Simon is the only one who thinks that this creature does not exist, and that the beast is part of themselves, and that is why they are afraid. So he goes to the forest to observe what happens, and realizes that Jack and Ralph went up the mountain and got the beast, but they do not realize that it is a dead man.

Within the group, Jack considers that Ralph should no longer be the boss, and separates, inviting those who want to join him to kill the pigs, and perhaps some people if they wish. Most decided to go with Jack, and Ralph and Piggy were in charge of lighting the bonfire. Simón is separated in a “cave of vines”, which is a place of meditation in the forest, watching Jack and his companions hunting a sow, which they take off its head and put it on a stick on the ground.

Simon observes the head, which he calls “the Lord of the Flies” which tells him, within his own hallucinations, that he is the beast and that he is part of himself. Simon loses consciousness, bludgeons his nose, and gets up all full of sweat, blood and many unpleasant things. Despite this he decides to climb the mountain to fight with the beast, and realizes that the beast is a man. Then he vomits and falls unsteadily.

On the other hand, Ralph and Piggy are hungry and going to a big party that Jack has organized. This is the frantic revival of sow hunting. But in that, Simon arrives, still bleeding, full of sweat and vomit, he wobbles in the middle of the crazy young people. He tries to tell them about the beast but they don’t recognize him and the youngsters act like wild animals and stab him with their spears until they kill him.

Simon’s body was carried by the sea, just like the dead man from the parachute. For their part, Ralph and Piggy said they had nothing to do with Simon’s cruel murder. Then everything gets worse. Jack’s group attacks Ralph and Piggy and takes Piggy’s glasses off to set his own fire on fire.

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But when they try to calm the situation, Roger throws a large rock off a cliff, which kills Piggy. Ralph runs away to save his life, as he believes he will end up with his head on a stick. In the end he manages to make it to shore and a British naval officer is obtained, and the group of boys was rescued from their alleged war.

Analysis of the book:

“The Lord of the Flies” is a work that reflects what the human condition is in extreme situations, where hunger, vulnerability and lack of reason, play a very important role in the behavior of people, especially if refers to young people. The author also shows us the bloody acts as part of survival, in which the alternative, in this case, was to kill pigs and be aware of the beast, which was about their own fears of themselves.

On the other hand, the confrontation and the power struggle between Jack and Ralph is presented, since jealousy and envy take over Jack and that is why he separates from the group, and extreme things begin to happen that led them to madness and to savagery, taking the lives of their own companions. Finally, it is a book that offers us different readings where themes such as hunting, death, friendship, among others, are highlighted.

Verbatim quotes from the work:

“The tribe danced. Somewhere behind that rocky wall there would be a dark circle, a blazing fire, and flesh. They would be savoring both the food and the peace of their security “

“And the chances were fading so quickly that it was necessary to immediately cling to a decision. That made you think; because thinking was something valuable that achieved results… ”

“For others it was easy to get up and speak before an assembly, apparently without feeling that terrible pressure of personality; they could say what they had to say as if they were speaking to one person ”

“He warned that at last it was explained why that life was so discouraging, in which each path was improvised and most of the time had to be spent watching every step that one took”
“They accepted the pleasures of the morning – the bright sun, the dominating sea and the sweetness of the air – as the pleasant hours for games, during which life was so full that there was no need for hope, and therefore they forgot”