As the novel opens, “the fair boy” makes his way out of a jungle and toward a lagoon, he encounters another boy, who is chubby, intellectual, and wears thick glasses. They then start talking and introduce themselves, “the fair boy”, Ralph and “the fat boy”, piggy. During their conversation we learn that there is a war going on and that the reason why the plane crashed is because it got shot down over the ocean. It crashed in thick jungle on a deserted island. The surviving boys are scattered on the island and cannot find the pilot.
Ralph and Piggy look around the beach, and wonder where all the other boys are. They then discover a conch shell, which Piggy realizes could be used as a trumpet. He tells Ralph to blow through the shell to find the other boys, Ralph does it. Boys around the island hear Ralph blowing the conch, they gather around Ralph. The oldest boys are around twelve; the youngest are around six. In the group of boys, there are some who are all dressed in black gowns and led by an older boy named Jack. They march in two parallel lines along the beach, Jack shouts at them to stand at attention. The boys mock Piggy’s appearance and nickname.
The boys decide to elect a leader. The choirboys vote for Jack, but all the other boys vote for Ralph. Ralph wins the vote, Jack clearly wants the position. Ralph asks the choir to serve as the hunters for the band of boys and asks Jack to lead them to make jack happy. Ralph, Jack, and Simon decide to go explore the island.
Eventually, the boys reach the end of the jungle, where high, sharp rocks jut toward steep mountains. The boys climb up the side of one of the steep hills. From the peak, they can see that they are on an island with no signs of civilization. On their way back towards the beach, they find a wild pig caught in a tangle of vines. Jack, the newly appointed hunter, draws his knife and steps in to kill it, but hesitates, unable to bring himself to do it. The pig runs away, Jack...