What happened to the boys' home and what does this mean for them in Lord of the Flies?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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At the very beginning of the novel, Golding reveals that the boys have crash-landed on the island, after traveling a long route to escape the dangers of war in their home in England.  More than likely, the boys were traveling via plane to Australia, where they could be safe from the threat of nuclear attack.  Piggy fears that their home has been under nuclear attack:

"Didn't you hear what the pilot said? About the atom bomb? They're all dead" (14).

Piggy, feeling a little pessimistic about their chances fears the worst--that their home has been decimated by an atom bomb and that they will never be rescued.  Of course, the boys do not know for sure if England has actually been attacked, but the precariousness of the situation fuels their uncertainty.