Lord of the Flies - Plot summary

William Golding
William Golding (1911-1993)

Lord of the Flies is set on a remote island and shows how a group of stranded schoolboys go from civilisation to savagery in a very short space of time.

Although their situation at first seems to have the makings of a fun adventure, their fight to survive in their environment and their struggle with each other for power reveals the wickedness which lives inside all of us. Before they are finally rescued there is savagery, destruction, terror and even death.

Social and historical context

Lord of the Flies was published in 1954, less than 10 years after the end of the Second World War. William Golding had been in the Royal Navy during the conflict and had seen what cruelty mankind could inflict on itself. He also understood the nature of young boys as he was a schoolmaster both before and after his navy career.