Lord of the Flies - Plot Summary (BBC Bitesize Material)

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English Literature


When an aircraft carrying British children who are being evacuated from a war zone crashes on a remote island, killing all adults, the children realise that they will have to survive on their own and no one knows where they are.

They begin life on the island full of excitement, but gradually the order they tried to create breaks down. The civilised schoolboys become savages.

Chapter 1 - Sound of the Shell

Sound of the Shell: Ralph and Piggy on the beach, holding the conch. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english_literature/images/lotf_small_01.jpg)

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Ralph and Piggy meet on the beach, having survived the crash. They introduce themselves, then enjoy swimming in a lagoon. The island seems a magical place.

Piggy finds a large conch. Ralph blows it like a trumpet, and all the other boys who survived flock around. One group arrives in choir uniforms, led by Jack. The boys elect Ralph as their chief, so Ralph asks Jack to be leader of the choir, who will take the job of hunters. Piggy takes names.

Jack, Ralph and Simon explore the island to see if it is inhabited. They push a huge rock off the top of a hill, shouting with delight as it crashes down.

As they scramble back to the others, they see a wild pig. Jack gets out a knife to kill it, but can't quite bring himself to draw blood and the pig scurries away.

Chapter 2 - Fire on the Mountain

Fire on the Mountain: Piggy's glasses start the fire. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english_literature/images/lotf_small_02.jpg)

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Ralph holds an assembly. The conch becomes a symbolsymbol: An image or thing (usually something physical, like a flag) that stands for or represents something else - usually something abstract, like a nation. A crucifix is a symbol of Christianity. of authority - only those holding the conch can speak.

A small boy says he's frightened of a 'snake-thing'. Ralph reassures him there's nothing to worry about, but Jack wants to hunt, just to make sure!

Ralph says there must be a fire to alert passing ships; Jack and his choir rush off to make one. They grab Piggy's glasses to light it with. Jack announces his hunters will keep the fire going. Piggy tries to encourage them to act sensibly. Yet suddenly the fire burns out of control and spreads through the undergrowth.

The boy who spoke up about the snake-things is missing - presumably burnt.

Chapter 3 - Huts on the Beach

Huts on the Beach: Ralph and Jack argue. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english_literature/images/lotf_small_03.jpg)

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Jack sets off hunting, but fails to catch a pig. He returns to the camp to find Ralph, who has been hard at work building shelters with Simon. Ralph complains the others don't help at all.

Ralph and Jack can't agree what their priorities are - making shelters and getting rescued, or finding meat.

Simon goes off by himself into the dense jungle and worms his way into the thickest part.

Chapter 4 - Painted Faces and Long Hair

Painted Faces and Long Hair: Jack's hunters return with a pig. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english_literature/images/lotf_small_04.jpg)

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Roger bullies three littluns playing, then watches their games. Even they are disagreeing and fighting.

Jack paints his face as camouflage to help him hunt a pig and goes…


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