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This novel tells the story of a group of boys stranded on a desert island following a plane crash and charts their descent into chaos and savagery, despite initial promising efforts to organise themselves into a viable community as they try to survive. The main theme concerns the essentially primitive nature of human beings, how they are liable to revert to savage instincts when removed from the trappings of civilization. The struggle for survival, the loss of trust, the breakdown of order, are all part of this overarching theme of the novel. Freedom might also be said to be a theme; the boys are completely liberated from all rules, left to fend for themselves, but this turns out to be a dangerous freedom, just as their childish innocence turns out to be a savage innocence.
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