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

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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What are the major events in Lord of the Flies?

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In "Lord of the Flies", major events include the boys' crash landing on an isolated island, the establishment of leadership and rules under Ralph, and the eventual breakdown of order. Ralph's rule is challenged by Jack, who forms his own tribe and prioritizes hunting over rescue efforts. The boys' fear of a perceived beast escalates, leading to the deaths of Simon and Piggy. The story culminates with the boys being discovered by a naval officer after setting the island ablaze to hunt Ralph.

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  • A group of school boys, presumably as evacuees of World War II fighting zones, crash-land on an isolated and perhaps even uncharted island.
  • Two of the boys, Ralph and Piggy, discover a conch shell on the beach and use it to bring all survivors together. The conch becomes a symbol of order, and the method by which a democratic process is conducted on the island.
  • Ralph is elected as the leader of the boys for his age and air of authority, but he is resented by a group of choir boys led by the impetuous Jack. In an attempt to quell any dissent, Ralph allows Jack to form his own group of hunters as leader.
  • Ralph dictates that the most important order of business on the island is to constantly keep a signal fire going. However, the first attempt at this results in a huge blaze that claims the life of one of the smaller children.
  • Order begins to deteriorate, with many boys not carrying their weight of the shared work. This comes to a head when Jack calls hunters away from the signal fire to track a pig and misses a rescue opportunity. Jack begins to publicly deride Ralph's rule, placing more value in being free on the island than attempting to be rescued.
  • A fighter pilot ejects from his plane and parachutes to the island, where he becomes tangled in the trees and, at some point, dies. This scene is observed by two young boys, known collectively as Samneric, who mistake the sight for a terrible beast.
  • Rumors of the beast spread quickly within the ranks of the island. In the wake of this menace, Jack attempts to usurp Ralph but is unsuccessful. Frustrated, he leaves to start his own tribe and lures many of the boys away from Ralph with promises of feasts and martial supremacy, using the hysteria surrounding the beast rumor to make the latter seem more appealing.
  • Simon, a quiet boy whose job it is to look after small children, witnesses the brutal and sadistic slaughter of a large sow at the hands of Jack's hunters. After they disperse, Simon approaches the impaled pig's head that they left behind. In a dreamlike state, he imagines a conversation with the pig, which calls itself "The Lord of the Flies," and is told that the true beast is the darkness that lurks within the boys. Shortly after, Simon finds the "beast" for himself, at last seeing that it is truly only a fallen pilot.
  • Simon runs back to the boys to tell them the truth, but he finds them dancing hysterically in the middle of the storm, still filled with bloodlust from killing the pig. Delusional, they mistake Simon for the beast and beat him to death.
  • Jack and his hunters raid Ralph's camp and steal Piggy's glasses. With no further support and, in truth, nothing left to lose, Ralph confronts Jack, leading to an event that ends with Piggy's death. As Piggy's head is broken upon the rocks, the conch shell breaks as well, marking the end of the last semblance of order on the island.
  • Consumed by bloodlust and completely lost to their violent urges Jack's hunters chase Ralph through the island, going as far as to set the forest ablaze in an attempt to smoke him out.
  • Ralph is chased back to the beach, where the group of boys is met by a naval officer who saw the island on fire. All at once, they begin to cry.
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1. Ralph and Piggy discover a conch, and Ralph uses it to summon the other boys on the island to the platform.

2. The boys elect Ralph as chief, and he establishes a rule regarding the conch.

3. The boys attempt to create a signal fire and accidentally start a forest fire, which kills the littlun with the mulberry-colored birthmark.

4. Boys miss out on an opportunity to be rescued when a ship passes by the island but does not stop because their signal fire is out. Despite their missed opportunity, Jack and his hunters end up killing their first pig.

5. Ralph holds an assembly, where the boys argue about the existence of a beast and do not come to a solid conclusion.

6. A paratrooper is shot out of the sky and lands on the top of the mountain.

7. Samneric claim to have seen the beast, which is actually the corpse of the dead paratrooper.

8. Jack, Ralph, and Roger climb to the top of the mountain, where they also mistake the dead paratrooper for the beast.

9. Jack attempts to usurp power during an assembly and ends up establishing his own tribe of hunters at the opposite end of the island.

10. Jack and his hunters violently kill a sow in what is referred to as the "rape scene."

11. Simon hallucinates and has a conversation with the Lord of the Flies, which confirms his belief that the beast is the inherent wickedness in each boy.

12. After Simon discovers the dead paratrooper, he attempts to inform the boys and runs onto the beach during a severe tropical storm. The boys mistake Simon for the beast and brutally murder him.

13. Jack and a group of savages raid Ralph's camp and steal Piggy's glasses.

14. Ralph and Samneric accompany Piggy to Jack's camp to retrieve his glasses, and Roger rolls a massive boulder towards Piggy, which ends up killing him.

15. Jack and his savages hunt Ralph and even set the forest ablaze in an attempt to smoke him out of hiding.

16. The savages end up chasing Ralph onto the beach, where a British Naval officer is standing and questions the boys about their experience on the tropical island.

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A lot happens in this book, but I will list out a dozen of the main events that occur over the course of the story.

  1. The boys are stranded on the island and spread out over the area. Piggy explains to Ralph how to use the conch. Ralph uses the conch to gather the boys.
  2. It is decided that a chief should be chosen. Ralph and Jack both want it. Ralph is elected chief.
  3. Ralph makes Jack head of hunters.
  4. The boys divide up the work. Some boys are in charge of making and maintaining fire. Other boys are in charge of hunting or building shelters.
  5. Chaos is already beginning to develop. Shelters are not being built, the fire is not being maintained, and Ralph is getting upset at the lack of shared work.
  6. Jack is unable to kill the first pig, but he more than makes up for it with his killing and defiling of the next pig.
  7. The boys fear a beast of some kind on the island.
  8. Simon learns what the beast really is.
  9. Simon is killed.
  10. Jack and Ralph fight each other. Ralph is forced to flee, and Jack hunts him down.
  11. Piggy is killed, and the conch is destroyed.
  12. The boys are rescued.
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In Lord of The Flies, what are the two most important events in the book?

One of the top two significant events in the novel concerns the missed chance at being rescued in chapter 4. Ralph ends up spotting a passing ship but realizes that unfortunately the signal fire is out. Shortly after missing out on an opportunity to be rescued, Jack and his hunters return to camp with their first pig. After arriving at camp, Jack admits that he summoned Samneric from the signal fire to join their expedition, which leads to an argument with Ralph, who is upset that Jack openly disobeyed his orders regarding the signal fire. This moment is significant for several reasons. One, the boys miss out on the rare opportunity of being rescued, which would have prevented the tragic events from transpiring. Two, the divide between civility and savagery becomes greater. Three, Ralph's animosity toward Jack dramatically increases. Four, the majority of boys begin to favor Jack over Ralph.

The second most significant event in the novel would be Simon's tragic death. Throughout the novel, Simon is depicted as a Christ figure, who truly understands the nature of the beast in each child and is portrayed as a compassionate boy. In chapter 9, a violent storm hits the island and Jack and his hunters begin dancing in a frenzy. After discovering that the beast is actually a dead paratrooper, Simon runs out of the forest to inform the boys and is mistaken as the beast. All of the boys then brutally murder Simon, who tragically dies on the beach before peacefully floating out to sea. This moment is significant because it signifies the complete loss of civility and point of no return. The boys have completely descended into savagery and there is no longer hope that they will be able to establish a civil society.

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In Lord of The Flies, what are the two most important events in the book?

That question is so hard.  Only two events?  So much happens in the book.  

Number 1.  The election of Ralph as chief instead of Jack.  Jack obviously wants the position, and he is not thrilled about losing to Ralph. 

“I ought to be chief,” said Jack with simple arrogance, “because I’m chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp.”

The reason the event is so important is because it immediately pits Jack against Ralph.  They may get along at first, but Jack is clearly biding his time to seize power.  If Jack had been voted chief right from the start, the group of boys might not have torn itself apart over which boy to follow.  

Event #2.  Simon's death.  Simon is the only boy that is inherently good.  He is pure altruism and believes in doing right for the sake of doing right.  When he is killed, it signals the complete loss of innocence and good among the boys.  After Simon's death, mutual respect and order fall apart.  Jack seizes full control, rules with an iron fist, and severely punishes anybody that doesn't explicitly follow his orders.  Simon's death is the equivalent of a person losing their conscience.  Only this time, the loss affects an entire group. 

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