A group of schoolboys find themselves stranded on a deserted island with no adults to supervise them.
A leader, Ralph, is elected but not everyone is happy about this, especially Jack.
Although some of the younger boys are scared because they think there is a beast on the island, they all try to be civilised by making a fire to signal for help and by building shelters.
Jack, however, seems only interested in hunting and, as some of the boys start to follow his lead, things begin to go wrong - arguments break out and Jack becomes increasingly aggressive.
Concerns over the Beast continue, particularly when Sam and Eric report that they have actually seen it.
The boys break into two groups - one is led by Ralph and one by Jack.
Simon sets out to discover the truth about the Beast but in a horrific turn of events is killed by the others.
Piggy is also killed and Sam and Eric are taken prisoner by an increasingly dangerous Jack.
Jack and his tribe try to hunt Ralph down and attempt to smoke him out by starting a huge fire, but a passing ship sees the fire and rescues all the boys. Ralph is saved from certain death and the rescuing officer chastises the boys for not behaving in a British manner.
In an essay called Fable, William Golding wrote: 'Man produces evil as a bee produces honey'. His novel Lord of the Flies sets out to show how evil and cruelty lurks within the heart of every individual.