Chapter 1 Summary
A fair-haired boy lowers himself down some rocks toward a lagoon on a beach. At the
lagoon, he encounters another boy, who is chubby, intellectual, and wears thick glasses. The fair-haired boy
introduces himself as Ralph and the chubby one introduces himself as Piggy. Through their conversation, we
learn that in the midst of a war, a transport plane carrying a group of English boys was shot down over the
ocean. It crashed in thick jungle on a deserted island. Scattered by the wreck, the surviving boys lost each other
and cannot find the pilot.
Ralph and Piggy look around the beach, wondering what has become of the other boys from the plane. They
discover a large pink- and cream-colored conch shell, which Piggy realizes could be used as a kind of makeshift
trumpet. He convinces Ralph to blow through the shell to find the other boys. Summoned by the blast of sound
from the shell, boys start to straggle onto the beach. The oldest among them are around twelve; the youngest
are around six. Among the group is a boys’ choir, dressed in black gowns and led by an older boy named Jack.
They march to the beach in two parallel lines, and Jack snaps at them to stand at attention. The boys taunt
Piggy and mock his 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, although Jack clearly wants the position. To placate Jack, Ralph asks the choir to serve as the hunters
for the band of boys and asks Jack to lead them. Mindful of the need to explore their new environment, the
Ralph chooses Jack and a choir member named Simon to explore the island, ignoring Piggy’s whining requests to
be picked. The three explorers leave the meeting place and set off across the island.
The prospect of exploring the island exhilarates the boys, who feel a bond forming among them as they play
together in the jungle. Eventually, they 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 hill. From the peak, they can see that they are on an
island with no signs of civilization. The view is stunning, and Ralph feels as though they have discovered their
own land. As they travel back toward 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 act. The pig
frees itself and runs away, and Jack vows that the next time he will not flinch from the act of killing. The three
boys make a long trek through dense jungle and eventually emerge near the group of boys waiting for them on