At the end of Lord of the Flies, what three boys do not make it off the island?

The boys who don't make it off the island at the end of Lord of the Flies are Simon, Piggy, and the boy with the mulberry-colored birthmark. The group of hunters kills Simon in their frenzied excitement over the hunt. Roger kills Piggy by rolling a boulder onto him. The boy with the mulberry-colored birthmark is implied to have died in the forest fire.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The ending of William Golding's Lord of the Flies is dramatic and emotional. The growing suspense of the chapters leading up to this point lead the reader to wonder if Ralph will survive the primitive rage of the other boys; after all, the deaths of Piggy and Simon at the hands of the youngsters do not bode well for Ralph.

At the end of the novel, the forest is on fire, an apt symbol for the destructiveness of the boys and their inability to hold on to their civilized, rational selves. The fire is intended to smoke Ralph out from his hiding place in the safety of the forest, and thanks to Sam and Eric, Ralph knows that once Jack and his followers find him, he will be killed.

Ralph runs for his life through the forest, armed with the stake that held the pig's head as a weapon, and when he finds himself on the beach, he falls to the ground. Ralph feels death is imminent, but when he looks up, he sees a grown-up. A naval captain, whose ship noticed the smoke from the fire Jack set, is standing on the beach. Ralph weeps, in relief for his safety and in sorrow for the many losses he and the others have sustained.

The ending of the novel is deeply ironic. Ralph's idea to keep a fire going to attract the attention of potential rescuers never works, but Jack's fire, one meant to cause harm, does bring safety. The naval captain, a symbol of the violent war against which the novel takes place, ironically comments on the lack of control he observes in the boys.

Finally, though rescue should be cause for celebration, the boys are too stunned by the presence of an adult, a reminder of their old lives, to feel anything but confusion, signaling that most of them have descended too far into their primitive selves to understand what rescue actually means.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

At the end of the novel, the British Navy arrives to rescue the boys as Jack's savages are in the middle of hunting Ralph. Unfortunately, three boys have lost their lives throughout the course of their stay on the uninhabited island. The littlun with the mulberry-colored birthmark is the first child to die on the island. The littlun dies in chapter 2 after the boys attempt to make a signal fire that accidentally spreads uncontrollably throughout the forest. The littlun had been wandering off from the group and died in the forest fire. Simon is next boy to lose his life on the island. In chapter 9, Simon runs down the mountain to inform the boys that the beast is really a dead paratrooper. Unfortunately, Simon is mistaken as the beast and brutally murdered on the beach by the boys. The last boy to lose his life on the island is Piggy. In chapter 11, Roger rolls a massive boulder from Castle Rock, which strikes and kills Piggy instantly. Overall, the littlun with the mulberry-colored birthmark, Simon, and Piggy die on the island before the British Navy arrives.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The boy with the mulberry birthmark dies at the beginning of the novel when the original fire gets out of control. It is assumed that he was burned in the fire. In addition, Simon and Piggy are also killed, not by accident, but deliberately. Simon is mistaken for "the beast" while the boys engage in a frenzied dance and Piggy is killed in cold blood when Roger loosens a rock from a cliff and lets the rock fall on Piggy.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There are actually only two characters who die in this book and, therefore, do not make it off of the island when the boys are rescued at the end.  Simon dies in Chapter 9 when he runs out of the forest and the boys attack, beat, and trample him because they think that he is the beast coming from out of the forest.  The only other character to die is Piggy in Chapter 11 when Roger pushes a gigantic rock off of the side of the cliff when Piggy is trying to get his glasses back from Jack and his tribe, who had stolen them the day before. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial