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Lord Of The Flies Chapter Summaries

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Chapter 1: The Sound of the Shell

Piggy and Ralph meet up with each other after escaping from their shot-down plane. A large scar was made in the untouched jungle, symbolizing the first of man's destruction on the island. A war is going on in the outside world, and now for the rest of the book, everyone will be isolated from it and put into their own "world."

Piggy spots a conch shell, and tells Ralph how to use it to make a noise. Ralph does so, and calls all of the other boys on the island who crashed down with the plane. Jack and his Choir, Simon, Sam and Eric, and many other characters join in an assembly (including the littl'uns, which are the youngest kids at about 6 or 7 years old). Rules are set down, and Ralph is to be chief. There is no one else on the island but the young boys, so Jack decides to take his choir out to hunt for wild pigs, although he is unsuccessful in killing a small pig with his knife.

Chapter 2: Fire on the Mountain

Ralph calls another assembly, and reminds everyone that they are completely alone on the island, and there are no adults. Jack recounts his failure in killing the pig, and reiterates the need for skilled hunters. Several rules are made up, such as "whoever holds the conch gets to speak." Unexpectedly, an unnamed littl'un with a birthmark on his face tells about a "beastie" that he saw somewhere on the island. The general consensus from the others is that there is no such thing, and it must be his imagination.

Ralph then suggests making a signal fire, which would be necessary if they hope to get rescued. The boys scramble off to gather wood to build a fire. Unsure of how to light it, they finally grab Piggy's specs and focus the sunlight to ignite their fire. They were not careful, however, and soon the fire is engulfing half the forest near the mountain. The little boy with the birthmark is noticed to be missing, swallowed up by the raging fire.

Chapter 3: Huts on the Beach

Jack is busy tracking a pig at the start of this chapter, when he arrives at the beach where Simon and Ralph are constructing huts. Ralph complains no other boys are helping them with their shelters, but Jack tries to argue that hunting is more important; this expands into yet another argument between Ralph and Jack. When Jack again brings up hunting, Ralph presses that keeping the signal fire is much more important than hunting. Jack disagrees, and the boys continue on their path of mutual dislike.

Ignorant to the fussing of the other boys, Simon picks fruit for the littl'uns and makes his way into the jungle finding a clearing. He climbs onto a mat of creepers, and remains there; he enjoys the tranquility of this spot, where he can be in touch with nature.

Chapter 4: Painted Faces and Long Hair

Roger is knocking down sand structures made by littl'uns, and throwing rocks at a young boy, although intentionally missing. Jack calls Roger away, asking him to watch him paint his face for hunting pigs.

Ralph and the other boys are swimming in the bathing pool later on, when smoke from a ship is spotted in the distance. The signal fire was out , not being watched, obliterating their chances of rescue. Oblivious, Jack and his hunters come proudly marching carrying their first kill, trying to convey their excitement to Ralph. When Ralph yells that a ship passed them by and no fire was going, excuses are made and Jack tries to say that hunting is of utmost importance. In the ensuing fight, Jack punches Piggy, breaking and knocking off his specs.

Finally, the fire is lit again, the pig is roasted, and everyone eats. The hunters reenact the hunt, with a wild tribal dance and one boy being the pig; this is the first time of many that the dance is performed.

Chapter 5: Beast From Water

At another assembly, Ralph mentions that work isn't getting done, and rules aren't being followed. He tries to drive home the fact that "...we ought to die before we let the fire out."

All the young children, however, are preoccupied with the Beast, which they still believe in as some kind of animal living on the island. Jack says that he's been everywhere, and there is no beast, and Piggy says that a beast can't exist in a world with science. However, a littl'un still steps up and says that he saw something horrid in the forest (which was actually Simon returning in the dark from his peaceful area). Another littl'un says that there's a "Beast from the water," which is further debated. Simon finally tries to settle the matter by saying that there may be a beast, but that "it's only us." However, this is responded to with mocking and joking, as it seems a preposterous notion.

During the assembly, Jack tries brings up the fact that Ralph isn't a good chief, because he can't hunt or sing. Piggy and others are against the idea, but Jack is starting to become more and more savage and overpowering. The assembly soon falls apart and the hunters begin to chant and dance.

Chapter 6: Beast From Air

A man from a shot-down fighter plane parachutes down from the sky.

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