Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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Which boys go exploring the island in Lord of the Flies by William Golding?

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In Chapter 1, Ralph, Jack, and Simon explore the island while Piggy and the other boys stay behind on the platform. Initially, Piggy attempts to tag along and go with the boys, but Jack tells him, "We don't want you...Three's enough" (Golding, 18). The three boys then jump off the platform and begin their expedition. Ralph, Simon, and Jack end up walking to the end of the island before they begin climbing the mountain. When the three boys successfully climb to the top of the mountain, they discover that they are on an uninhabited boat-shaped island. They also notice that there is another small island off the coast of the far side of the island, which will become Jack's headquarters later in the novel. After the three boys survey the island, they begin walking back to their base camp when they hear a pig squealing. The three boys quickly rush towards the pig, and Jack draws his knife. Unfortunately, Jack hesitates, and the pig ends up escaping from the creepers. At the beginning of Chapter 2, Ralph holds an assembly and explains to the boys that they are shipwrecked on an uninhabited island and attempts to establish a civil society by laying down some ground rules.

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The first two boys we meet in chapter one of Lord of the Flies by William Golding are Ralph and Piggy. A plane crash has deposited many boys on the island, and soon we meet the others. Ralph finds a conch shell and Piggy shows him how to blow it; when he does, the boys come out of the foliage and across the sand to the lagoon where they hold an impromptu meeting.

They are English schoolboys, and they are quickly interested in electing a leader. Piggy is the only one of the older boys who seems to care anything for the littler boys, trying to get each one's name and doing what he can to maintain order. Unfortunately, Piggy is a physically unappealing boy (is fat, has asthma, wears thick glasses) and is therefore not looked at with respect, despite his obvious intellectual skills.

The vote for leader comes down to Jack and Ralph, and Jack is certain he will win because he has leadership experience as head of the choir. Unfortunately, no one is impressed at all with Jack, including his own choir, who only vote for him reluctantly.

That leaves Ralph, the older boy who looks like a leader and is therefore voted into the position. One of the first things he says must be done is to explore the island.

 “Listen, everybody. I’ve got to have time to think things out I can’t decide what to do straight off. If this isn’t an island we might be rescued straight away. So we’ve got to decide if this is an island. Everybody must stay round here and wait and not go away. Three of us-if we take more we’d get all mixed, and lose each other-three of us will go on an expedition and find out. I`ll go, and Jack, and, and....”

   He looked round the circle of eager faces. There was no lack of boys to choose from.

   “And Simon.”

Ralph obviously chooses Jack to appease him for losing the election; Simon is an unlikely choice for the third explorer, as he has already demonstrated that he has a tendency to faint. Piggy is upset, of course, believing that since he was with Ralph in the beginning, he should be the one to go along. Ralph certainly never considered taking the overweight boy with him. He and Jack take Simon on the first exploration trip of what they presume to be an island. They are correct. 

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