Ralph: Main Character of the book, forgets things quite easy, tendency to adventure;
Piggy: fat boy, has asthma, wears glasses, he should be the chief but he is an outsider, he is the most intelligent on the whole island;
Jack Merridew: the commander of the choir, arrogant, becomes a passionate hunter, chief of the savage-like tribe, Jack loves giving orders; has an appetite for destruction;
Simon: the others think that he is batty, he is quite shy and has problems with speaking in front of a lot of people, quite religious and poetic;
Sam+Eric: twins, called Samneric because they act like one person, try to please other people;
A lot of children are trapped on an island because a pilot dropped them after they have been attacked because there's a war taking place. Ralph and Piggy make their way to the beach. The island is full of enchantment: The water is clear to the bottom, there are glittering fish and there is a warm lagoon. Piggy wants to make a list with all the names of the kids on the island and wants to have a meeting. Ralph is sure that the grown-ups are going to rescue them. Ralph finds a conch and he blows it to call the other kids on the island. A strange group of boys comes, wearing black caps with badges in it. They are a choir and join the meeting. First the children decide to vote a chief although Jack the commander of the choir nearly proclaimed himself a chief. Ralph becomes chief because he has the conch. They make the choir hunters. They find out that it's an island and that it's inhabited. They also find out that there live pigs on the island.
They decide to give the person that wants to speak the conch and so the person won't be interrupted while speaking, except by Ralph. In Ralph's opinion they can have a good time on that island.
A little boy thinks that he saw a beast in the dark of the woods but no one believes him.
The children decide to make a fire on the top of the mountain so that a ship can notice them. The only way for them to fire something is with Piggy´s glasses. Jack and Ralph share the burden of leadership. Jack divides his choir into hunters and people who look after the fire. But they nearly fire the whole island. Only a few boys work. Most of them just bath or play or eat fruits. Jack became a passionate hunter and doesn't care for anything else. Jack and Ralph begin to hate each other because they don't have the same opinion on most of the things. The little ones suffer untold terrors in the dark. They seldom bother with the big ones and their passionately emotional and corporate life is their own. Although the lives of the children changed so much they are still conditioned by a civilisation that knows nothing of them.
Ralph sees a ship on the horizon but the fire is out on the mountain because the watchers are gone. So the ship disappears. Jack needed the watchers for hunting a pig. Ralph gets very angry because they might have seen them and they might have gone home. So Ralph calls an assembly. He is very angry because they decide things but the things don't get done. Ralph believes that the fire is the most important thing on the island. They talk about their fear, the fear that there might be a beast. For Ralph it seems to be the breaking of sanity. Fear, beasts and no general argument that the fire was all-important. And when one tries to get the thing straight the argument sheers off. Jack stops obeying Ralph. Everything gets out of order.
Ralph nearly gives up being chief but Simon and Piggy keep him going on. They desire a sign or symbol from grown-ups because from their point of view they wouldn't quarrel or talk about a beast. That night a figure drops swiftly beneath a parachute. Sam and Eric see the parachute in the morning and think that they saw the beast. This leads the children into total chaos. Jack wants to hunt the beast but Ralph disagrees so they quarrel again. The boys go to hunt the beast and light the fire.
Jack hates Ralph and shows antagonism as soon as Jack ceases to lead. In the late evening when it's already dark Jack and Ralph showing their courage climb up to the place where the fire should burn. They see the dead parachutist and the wind moves the dead body so they think it's the beast. Jack calls a meeting and tells the others that Ralph isn't a proper chief and neglects the symbolic authority of the conch. He wants everyone to put his hand up who thinks that Ralph shouldn't be chief but no one puts his hand up. Jack decides not to be part of Ralph's lot so he runs away. Piggy is full of delight and expanding liberty in Jack's departure. Jack is happy when a small group of boys joins him.
Jack invites more big ones to live with his tribe. Every single boy without Ralph, Sam, Eric, Simon and Piggy joins Jack's tribe because he offers them fun and meat. While the boys are dancing Simon is killed. The wind moves the dead man and the parachute to the sea so the boys can see it until it disappears. In the night Jack's tribe attacks Ralph's lot and get Piggy's glasses, the only way to make fire. So there is a confrontation between Ralph and Jack. In a fight Piggy is killed which frightens Ralph. As a consequence he runs away. The twins are tied up and forced to join the tribe. When the night is fully accomplished Ralph comes back to where Jack's tribe lives and sees Samneric. They tell him that the tribe is going to hunt him. But on the next day the twins betray Ralph. When Ralph runs away they set the whole island on fire. When Ralph fights for his life he sees a naval officer on the beach. The people on the ship saw the smoke.
William Golding was born in St. Columb Minor, Cornwall, on September 19, 1911. He studied science and English. Lord of the Flies is a number-one-classic of modern literature. In 1983 Golding won the Nobel Prize for literature. Golding is a great visionary writer and a great moralist. He died on June 19, 1993.
The theme of the book is a struggle between good and evil and a critic on modern society. On the lonely island primitive urges begin to dominate the boys. A pig's head on a stick, that gave the story its title, is a symbol for the destructive elements that grow in the boys. From my point of view William Golding wants to show that evil exists inside every human being even in "innocent" children. The boys try to construct a civilisation on the island but it breaks down in chaos because they are guided by self-interest and have no common sense. During the boys live on the island there is a war going on in the world of the adults so they just copied the things going on. From my point of view the evil the boys contain is just a reflection of human evil in general.