At the beginning of the novel we can see the fair boy and the fat boy. They discussed the plane crash occurrence while wondering where the plane and the pilot had disappeared. During the conversation, the fat boy asks the fair boy’s name. We learn that the fair boy is called Ralph. Ralph is not interested in knowing the fat boys’ name. They imagine that the rest of the children in the plane might have been saved and could be anywhere in the jungle. The two walk for quite some distance until they get to the shore. Ralph gets off his clothes and goes swimming as the fat boy follows him sluggishly. He admits to Ralph that people call him Piggy, but he asks him to keep it a secret.
During the swimming, Ralph boasts about his father who works in navy and who will come rescue them. Piggy, however, explains that before the crash, the pilot had told him that an atomic bomb had exploded, and everybody died. After swimming while they put on their clothes, they find a white shell that produces some sounds when blown into.
Some small and naked children appear from the woods. Piggy goes to these children and tries to figure out their names. He gets to know the twins Eric and Sam and another young child, Johnny. Ralph does not care about them and continues to blow into the shell. Their leader commands them all to stand in a queue. Before long, one of the boys in the black robes faints and their leader assumes. Piggy does not ask names of this group but makes it known that names are very important. Ralph takes advantage of the situation and informs everyone that Piggy is called Piggy. From here, we meet Jack Merridew the tyrant, Maurice, the boy who smiles a lot, Roger the secrecy boy, Simon the boy who fainted, Bill, Robert, Harold and Henry.
Ralph and Jack are the aspirants for the leader position. Ralph emerges the winner. Then he appoints Jack as the head of the choirboys. Ralph, Jack and Simon decide to go exploring the area but reject Piggy from accompanying them since he could not walk fast. On this walk, Jack is unable to kill a pig but swears to do so one day.
Ralph calls a meeting using his leadership authority as the chief. He addresses the boys and informs them of the rules that will help them to become organized. He insists that anyone who wants to speak should raise his hand. While speaking, one is required to hold the shell. The boys who were excited to see the ones who will be punished for violating them accepted these rules. A small boy asks for the shell so that he is allowed to talk. Everyone laughs at him, but Piggy comes to his secure and demands that he is heard. He cautions everyone that there is a mysterious snake, beastie in the island. The other boys laugh at him again saying that it is his own imagination. Jack decides that they should look for it, in case it is there. Ralph orders to prepare the fire to help the rescuers locate them. A problem emerges that there is no way of starting the fire. Jack gives an idea about rubbing two sticks and the use of Piggy’s glasses to produce fire. As this is going on, Piggy is pissed off by the fact that the other boys do not want to listen to him. He grabs the conch shell to speak, but the smoke from the fire becomes too much and he gets breathing problems.
After some time has passed we can see Jack obsessed with killing a pig through tracking down pig’s droppings, and sniffing the air all the time. He fails to kill a pig yet again and tries to take his frustrations out on Ralph and Simon who are building the shelter out of leaves. Jack suggests face painting to scare the animals.
Simon goes to the jungle to fetch fruits with the younger boys. He comes to an area with woven mats where he crawls to them and relaxes there until evening. As time passed, the little ones developed a habit of playing together while the older boys went hunting for pigs and others kept the signal fire. These two groups have grown separately where we see Henry hanging out with Percival and Johnny the young boys. Roger gets angry and follows Henry throwing stones at him not missing purposefully. Jack goes ahead with painting of the mask and orders the boys to go along with him to the woods. Back in the lagoon, Ralph, Piggy and Simon swim with Maurice. Piggy suggests that they make a sundial, but they ignore him. Ralph then spots a ship and everyone get excited. The worst thing is that the signal fire had gone out during the excitement. The ship disappeared (William, 1962).
A group of the boys led by Jack were chanting songs while carrying a dead pig from the mountain. Jack takes the opportunity to explain how they managed to kill the pig. After the explanation, Ralph asked why they let the fire go off. Piggy gets involved and accuses them of being irresponsible like 12-year-old boys. Jack feels offended and punches Piggy in the face. This causes one of Piggy’s lenses to break leaving him with a one-eye vision. Jack apologizes for his actions later. Ralph orders the choirboys to light the fire once again. This upsets Piggy since his glasses have to be used again. All this time the boys were only feeding on vegetables and fruits. The smell of the roasted meat was a real delicacy. Jack refused share the pig with Piggy accusing him of not helping in the hunting. Simon decides to give Piggy a share of his meat that upsets Jack so much.
Ralph decides to call a meeting by sounding the conch shell. He reminds the boys of the rules that had been set. He reminds them to keep the fire going. He also addresses the fear of the snake and that of dying. An argument crops up about the beastie walking at night. When Piggy stands up to talk, someone calls him a fat slug. The meeting is disintegrated, and Jack leaves to go look for the beastie. Ralph tries to get everyone together and swears that if he blows the conch shell and no one responds, he resigns.
Something weird happens where Sam and Eric who were tending the fire they see a body in the darkness of the wind. This follows screams and the twins wake up Ralph. Jack, Ralph and other big boys head off to find it. They decide to go to the tail of the Island where they call it the castle. They get to the rocks and Ralph decides to get in as he is the Chief. After a long search, there is no beast they meet. The boys go on playing in the rocks until Ralph realizes that the signal fire is off again. They quit playing and follow them to the mountaintop.
The boys then rest and eat some of the fruits they had found. Roger notices pig wastes and alerts the other boys. Suddenly a huge boar emerges from the bush and Ralph sticks his spear in its snout before falling out. Jack takes after it, but later his arm is wounded. This excitement extends as one of the boys Robert plays the boar and is followed by other boys with spears in their hands. As it gets dark, most boys go ahead, leaving Ralph, Jack, and Roger behind. As the wind blows through the trees, a creature lifts its head toward the boys from the bush. Boys run away screaming again.
The next morning the boys inform Piggy of the beast. Ralph explains that everyone is scared, and no one can go to the mountaintop to keep the fire going. Jack blows the conch shell to hold a meeting to take control of the situation. He informs them that Ralph is not fit to continue. No one supports his views and this upsets him. Ralph then comes up with a new idea to build a fire signal at the beach. After this, they realize that Maurice, Bill, Roger and Robert had disappeared and did not help build the fire. The only ones left are the twins and Simon. Meanwhile, Jack and his group of hunters develop strategy how to kill more pigs while leaving the pigs’ head for the beast. This was to let the beast not disturb them. They meet a group of pigs and manage to kill one. Jack announces to everyone that they will be having a feast and everyone is invited.