Lord of the Flies Summary

Key Facts

Writer: Willing Golding (1911-93). British novelist, playwright, and poet. Nobel prize winner in 1983.

Written Time: 1950

Meaning of the Title: Lord of the Flies” is a literal translation of the name of the biblical demon Beelzebub, a powerful demon in hell sometimes thought to be the devil himself. (i.e. the translation of Belzibab’s name is Lord of the Flies. He is a powerful demon from hell. In some cases he is referred to as Satan.)

Published date: 1954

Genre: Allegorical fiction

Themes: 1. Civilization vs Savagery 2. Loss of Innocence 3. Man’s inherent tendency of evil 4. Struggle to build civilization 5. Dangers of Mob Mentality 6. War and the future of mankind.

Setting: Time Setting: 1950s

               Place Setting: Uninhabited tropical island in the Pacific ocean.

Central Message: Here the natural tendency of people has been presented in a very beautiful way. If people are not disciplined then it is natural that they will be involved in bad deeds. That is, humans are like animals/beasts. The central message of “Young Goodman Brown” story is correct here, “Evil is the tendency of Mankind”.


Ralph: Protagonist and elected team leader. Represents law, governance, and civil society.

Piggy: Fat and Ralph’s close company. Represents science and logic

Jack: Antagonist, cruel hunting leader. Represents greed for Power

Roger: Jack’s close company

Simon: A shy, sensitive, and intelligent boy. Represents bravery. Jesus Christ-like figure.

Sam and Eric: Twins, closely accompanied with Ralph

British Naval Officer: He rescues the boys from the island.


The complete summary of this novel is easily discussed in just ten stages.

1. How did the boys get stuck on this island?

2. Ralph is elected as the team leader

3. Inflame fire on the island and the emergence of Beast.

4. Ralph’s conflict with Jack

5. Creating Jack’s separate hunting party

6. The story of Lord of the Flies

7. Unraveling the mystery of the Beast

8. Killing of Piggy

9. Attempted the murder of Ralph by Jack

10. British Navy officers arrive and rescue everyone

So let’s discuss the whole summary with these ten points very easily.

1. How did the boys get stuck on this island?

After World War II, some school students in England were stranded on an island. There was no one elder with them. Since it was during World War II, the children’s plane crashed and they took refuge on this island.

2. Ralph is elected as the team leader

Then Ralph and Piggy get together and find a conch shell. Ralph plays this conch. Hearing the sound of this conch shell, all the children around come together. They realize they are stranded on this island. That’s why they will work together to survive on this island. So for that, a team leader is needed to lead. Ralph was the eldest, strongest, and bravest of them all. So everyone chose Ralph as their team leader. But Jack wanted everyone to make him the team leader.

Anyway, after becoming the team leader, Ralph makes Jack head of the hunting team. That is, their job will be to hunt. He then introduced a few rules,

  • If one wants to say something, he must have a conch.
  • Jack and his team members will hunt.
  • Everyone will live here peacefully.

3. Inflame fire on the island and the emergence of Beast.

Then one of them said that he saw a beast in this forest. But Ralph doesn’t believe him. Ralph started looking for a way out of this forest. Ralph tells everyone to go to the top of the mountain and ignite fire. So if any ship passes through this way, they will see this smoke and come to rescue them. So to ignite fire Piggy’s glasses are taken and the fire is lit. They lit fire at the top of the mountain. And this fire is entrusted to Sam and Eric. But accidentally the entire forest caught fire. And the boy who said he saw the Beast here, was lost in this fire. He was never found again.

This makes Ralph very angry. Because it happened due to negligence of others. Time was passing like this. But except  Ralph, the others were laughing and playing. Meanwhile, a ship passes by. But the fire had gone out, and no one cared. Ralph was very angry at the thought that he was building a house alone to live in, but no one was helping him. Only a few were helping him. Jack, meanwhile, was making fun of Piggy whenever he got the chance. Because Piggy was very fat. Although Piggy was smart, he had no fighting ability.

4. Ralph’s conflict with Jack

In the meantime, Ralph and Jack were arguing about various issues. So Ralph got everyone together to make everything right. But everyone was pretty indifferent. No one cared. So this meeting collapsed. Everyone was talking about that beast.

That night, fighting began over the island by fighter jets. So a man parachuted to the top of the island, where the boys had lit a signal fire. The man died there. So some boys think this man is a beast and run away from there. They come to Ralph and Jack, and tell them they saw the Beast. But Ralph and Jack go to that place to show their courage. But they see nothing. Then they come back and say there is nothing there. So in the morning Ralph and Jack had a conflict about some things. Jack then tells Ralph, you should leave the leadership, you are not qualified to be a team leader. But the boys elect Ralph as their team leader again.

5. Creating Jack’s separate hunting party

So Jack angrily left the group. A few boys also left the party with him. So this time there are two groups of boys on this island. One is Ralph’s group, the other is Jack’s group. So now Jack becomes a seasoned hunter. Jack and his team members paint their faces like primitive men and hunt a boar. After killing the pig, its head is cut off and placed on top of a stick. Simon is tasked with seeing and hearing its head. Many flies came and buzzed around this prickly pig’s head.

6. The story of Lord of the Flies

So now Simon comes to this pig’s severed head and calls it Lord of the Flies. Simon sees from his imagination that the pig’s severed head is talking to him. The head says the beast is nowhere but hidden in yours heart.

7. Unraveling the mystery of the Beast

Simon then climbed to the top of the hill, where the fire was lit. He finds a dead man stuck in a parachute. And this person they were afraid of was the Beast. So he thought the truth should be told to everyone. That’s why when he came down from the mountain, Jack and his boys killed him thinking that he was a beast. Ralph and Piggy suffered a lot in this matter.

8. Killing Piggy

Meanwhile, Jack and his gang steal Piggy’s glasses to ignite fire. So Ralph and Piggy go to get the glasses. But as they get there, Jack’s gang catches them and Roger kills Piggy by throwing a rock at his head. And their conch is also broken.

9. Attempted murder of Ralph by Jack

Seeing such predatory and cruel behavior of the boys of Jack’s group, Ralph began to flee from there into the forest in fear. Because he can also be killed. And that’s exactly what happens. Jack and his boys set fire to the entire forest to find Ralph. The fire spread to the entire forest.

10. British Navy officers arrive and rescue everyone

Just at this time, a British Navy ship was passing that way. So they turned the ship towards this island and near the island, a naval officer got off the ship. At that time Ralph ran to the Navy officer. The boys who were chasing Ralph stopped when they saw the navy officer. Ralph started crying when he saw the navy officer. The rest of the boys, including Jack, begin to cry. The officer then felt a bit uncomfortable and looked towards the ship. Then he asked them to know everything. He was told everything. After that everyone boarded the ship and headed toward the destination.

Most Important 5 symbols

  1. The symbolic significance of the characters

Ralph stands for civilization and democracy.

Piggy represents intellect and rationalism.

Jack signifies savagery and dictatorship.

Simon is the incarnation of goodness and saintliness.

  1. The island

symbolizes Paradise.

  1. The Lord of the Flies (the Beast)

Symbolizes the inner evil of mankind.

  1. The Conch Shell

The conch shell symbolizes the rule of law and civilization.

  1. Piggy’s Glasses

Symbolizes science and technology

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

Articles: 230

Leave a Reply

error: Sorry !!