Lord of the Flies shows how the boys' makeshift civilization on the island descends into chaos. At first, there is an attempt to mimic the social order of the adult world they were dependent upon back home: the boys choose the level-headed Ralph to be their leader, the conch shell is used as a symbol of communication and democracy, and the boys try to stick to particular rules so as to make sure everyone gets along. Most importantly, they try to keep a smoke signal going so any pacing ships or airplanes will be able to know they are there and rescue them. Unfortunately, human nature intervenes with their plans.
Chaos begins to plant its seeds in the hearts of the boys when most of them start to lose hope in being rescued. Their discipline wanes. The smoke signal is allowed to go out while Jack and his hunters run to kill pigs. Slowly, Jack feeds into the fears of the boys, claiming only physical might and mob mentality will protect them from the unseen dangers of the island. The boys end up turning against one another due to these fears, such as the alleged Beast (which turns out to be a rotting corpse that poses no mortal threat at all). With the death of Piggy, the boy who valued order and reason the most, the island society descends into total chaos, with Ralph running for his life and Jack out for blood in a mad quest for power.