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Lord of the Flies

by William Golding
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In Lord of the Flies how did the kids get to the island, and did they all make it there?

In Lord of the Flies, the schoolboys crash-land on the tropical island when their plane is shot down. Once the nuclear war began, they were evacuated from their homes in Britain. Their plane is hit by a rocket, and they crash on an uninhabited island in the Pacific. It is not clear if every boy survived the crash, but the reader is told that the pilot died during the attack.

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In Lord of the Flies, a group of boys reaches the island on an airplane, which crashed and split apart upon impact. The novel apparently takes places right after the end of World War II, as Piggy refers to hearing about “the atom bomb” from the pilot. Author William Golding deliberately leaves the reason for the crash unstated. Neither does he provide an exact number of passengers who had been aboard, survived, or perished.

Near the beginning, the first two boys to meet and discuss their situation are Ralph and Piggy. They are uncertain about what actually happened. According to Ralph, the pilot “dropped us off” in the jungle; he wants to believe the pilot will return. Piggy insists, however, that their plane was attacked; while still on board, he saw “flames coming out” of the plane’s other half. He also mentions there was a storm. On one hand, Piggy believes that more kids must have survived, but on the other hand, he notes, “There must have been some kids still in” the part he saw out in the water.

As more people come out of the jungle, they all turn out to be boys, and the group realizes that no grown-ups have survived. With no adult guidance, they must somehow govern themselves. The exact number of surviving boys is never determined. One of Piggy’s ideas, to count them and record their names, is never carried out.

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Lord of the Flies begins shortly after the boys' plane crashes on the island. As readers, we reassemble what happened from fragments of memory and conversation, as well as other clues.

A war is going on, and it appears the boys have been hastily put aboard a plane to be taken away to safety. We know it must have been a quick escape, as some of the boys didn't even have time to change out of their choir robes, indicating a choir practice was interrupted. When Ralph says to Piggy that his father, a naval commander, will save them, Piggy says that may not be likely:

Didn’t you hear what the pilot said? About the atom bomb? They’re all dead.

Apparently, an atom bomb exploded in England, and the boys were gotten out just in time.

Piggy informs the other boys that their "plane was shot down in flames." Part of it ended up on the island, depositing some of the boys there, and another part floated out to sea: boys emerge from both parts of the wreckage.

The boys all appear to have briefly passed out during the crash. They reassemble in a disoriented, stunned way as Ralph blows into the conch. We don't know with any certainty if they have all survived, but given the large numbers of them and that fact that nobody is specifically mentioned as missing, we can assume that most or all survived, but not the pilot or any adults. Golding is particularly sketchy about these details, giving the reader just enough to go on to make it believable the boys are there alone.

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In Golding's classic novel Lord of the Flies, the group of British schoolboys crashland on an uninhabited tropical island in the Pacific after their plane is shot down. The boys were evacuated from their homes in Britain to a safer place when the nuclear war began. Golding does not reveal the boys' final destination but suggests that they were traveling to Australia. Jack comments that Simon fainted in Gibraltar (Spain) and again at Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). Using these two clues, one can assume the boys were heading to Australia. Unfortunately, their plane was shot out of the sky over a nondescript island, leaving a massive scar throughout its jungle.

In the first chapter of the story, Piggy confirms they were shot down and informs Ralph that the pilot is dead. Some of the boys were fortunate enough to survive the crash and the cabin section of the plane was washed out to sea. Once again, Golding does not specifically mention the number of passengers on the plane and whether or not every boy survived. One could assume that there were some boys who did not survive the crash, and their bodies have drifted out to sea. Initially, Ralph naively believes that his father will rescue them, but Piggy reminds him that they are more than likely significantly off course, making it very difficult to be rescued. Piggy also mentions that he heard the pilot say that everyone was dead from the nuclear attack.

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The boys are students at an all-male boarding school in England during the World War.  They are being evacuated as bombing has begun and the adults fear for the boys' safety.  The plane is hit, supposedly by an enemy rocket or missile, during their evacuation to a safer location.  This is how they end up on the island, and why they are not rescued more quickly.  The plane went down in an area where there are probably many places/islands the boys could have gone, and  it is not until the island is set on fire to smoke out Ralph that rescue ships locate them and zero in for rescue.

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In this work, a group of British schoolboys are stranded on an island somewhere in the Pacific after their plane crashes. Piggy says at the opening of the novel, "I expect there's a lot more of us scattered about." It is not made clear by Golding whether or not there were other children who died in the crash. The reader does know for certain, however, that the pilot was killed in the crash. The different groups of boys join up and there becomes a struggle for leadership between Ralph and Jack. As the plot progresses, it explores the journey the boys take into the heart of evil.

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