It is very subtly indicated that the book takes place in the midst of an unspecified nuclear war. Some are ordinary students, while others arrive as a coherent body under an established leader (a choir). Most appear never to have encountered each other before. The book portrays their descent into savagery; left to themselves in a paradisiacal country, far from modern civilization, the well-educated children regress to a primitive state. At an allegorical level, the central theme is the conflicting impulses toward civilization—live by rules, peacefully and in harmony—and towards the will to power. Different subjects include the tension between groupthink and individuality, between rational and emotional reactions, and between morality and immorality. How these play out, and how different people feel the influences of these, forms a major subtext of Lord of the Flies. In the midst of a wartime evacuation, a British plane crashes on an isolated island. The only survivors are all male children below age 13. Two boys, the fair-haired Ralph and an overweight, bespectacled boy reluctantly nicknamed "Piggy" find a conch which Ralph uses as a horn. Two dominant boys emerge during the meeting: Ralph, and Jack Merridew, a redhead who is the head of a choir group that was among the survivors. Ralph is voted chief, losing only the votes of Jack's fellow choirboys. Ralph asserts two goals: have fun, and work toward rescue by maintaining a constant fire signal. They create the fire with Piggy's glasses, and, for a time, the boys work together. Jack organizes his choir group into the group's "hunters", who are responsible for hunting for meat. Ralph, Jack, and a black-haired boy named Simon soon become the supreme trio among the children. Piggy, the most sensible of the bunch, is quickly outcast by his fellow "biguns" (the older boys) and becomes an unwilling source of mirth for the other children. Simon, in addition to supervising the project of constructing...
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