The book begins with a group of boys who find themselves on an abandoned island during the time of WWII. Determined to make the best of things, they begin to plan how they will survive. A boy named Ralph steps into a leadership position, and finds himself elected as leader of the group, although another boy named Jack objects. One of Ralph’s biggest supporters is Piggy, a chubby, nerdy young boy. One of the first things the boys do is go on a hunt to try and catch a pig, but none of them are successful in actually killing the boar.
As time goes on Ralph tries to run the group of boys through a series of meetings, and he places emphasis on doing two things: building shelter to live in and keeping a fire going so they will have a smoke signal if any planes go by. Jack, however, becomes obsessed with hunting and killing a pig. Many of the other boys on the island grow bored of building shelters and keeping the fire going and spend time playing instead. The soon find out the consequences of this when the fire dies out right when a plane is passing overhead. Ralph blames Jack for going hunting instead of watching the fire. Meanwhile, Simon, a quiet boy, seeks out his own place to think about things.
Tension begins to mount as some of the boys report seeing a beast on the island. Jack is determined to find and kill the beast. When Ralph reprimands Jack’s tactics, Jack runs away from the group and some of the boys go with him, forming their own band under Jack’s leadership. They turn savage, smearing blood on their faces as war paint.
Simon goes off to his spot in the woods again, and when he does so he discovers the true meaning of the beast – that it is actually the body of a pilot who crashed on the island and died. The shadows had made him look like a terrible monster, but he is actually just a human. Simon hurries back to the group to tell what he has discovered. When he arrives, he finds that the two groups of boys have reunited temporarily and are running around together. Simon wanders into the group to tell them his news, but caught up in the frenzy the boys believe that he is the beast and stab Simon to death with their spears.
The next day Ralph and Piggy are feeling guilty about what they did. Only a few boys remain with Ralph to help tend the fire. When they are asleep one evening Jack and his friends sneak into Ralph’s camp to steal Piggy’s glasses so they can start their own fires. The next day Ralph and Piggy go to Jack’s camp to demand the glasses back. When they arrive a cruel boy named Roger pushes a boulder down the hill, which crushes and kills Piggy.
Ralph runs, but the other boys go after him like savages. They set the forest on fire and Ralph runs to the beach, where he finds a naval officer who has seen the smoke from the forest fire. The boys are rescued, but are scolded by the officer for acting so savage and immature. I hope you enjoyed this Lord of the Flies summary.