Summary and Detailed Notes for Chapter 1 of The Lord of the Flies
Brief Summary of Chapter 1
Ralph Meets Piggy
Two boys, stranded on an island, discover there are no grownups and must rely on themselves. Ralph meets a fat boy on the beach and they discuss the destruction of a cabin in a storm. Ralph then leaves the fat boy behind and discovers a beautiful lagoon.
Ralph and Piggy Meet
Ralph discovers a deserted island and meets Piggy, who is given the nickname “Piggy” by Ralph. They decide to have a meeting to list the names of the other boys on the island. Ralph and Piggy meet on the beach, where Ralph discovers a pool of warm water and admires the beauty of the lagoon. Piggy joins him, and they enjoy the pool together.
Stranded on the Island
Ralph and Piggy find themselves stranded on an island with no one else around. Piggy is unable to swim and Ralph’s father, a commander in the Navy, is unaware of their location. They must find the other boys and figure out a way to survive.
Discovery of the Conch
Ralph and Piggy find a conch shell on a coral island and Piggy explains its value. Ralph is entranced by the beauty of the shell and they both become excited. Ralph and Piggy find a conch and use it to call the other boys to a meeting, with Ralph blowing into it to make a loud noise.
First Meeting of the Boys
Ralph blows a conch shell to gather the boys on the beach, and Piggy helps him by asking names and introducing the twins, Sam and Eric. Ralph discovers a group of boys dressed in strange clothing, led by a tall boy with a golden cap badge. The boys are tired and hot from their march and the leader is frustrated and angry. Ralph is elected chief by acclaim of the boys, who have no grownups to look after them. Jack is displeased, but Roger suggests a vote and Ralph is chosen. Piggy’s intelligence is noted.
Ralph is chosen as chief and Jack is put in charge of the choir. Three boys, Ralph, Jack and Simon, go on an expedition to find out if the island is inhabitable, with Piggy wanting to come but being told he’s no good.
Ralph, Jack and Simon explore the island and find the end of it, with a large rock in the lagoon. Ralph notices the beauty of the island and Jack realizes that they won’t be able to explore around the corner. Piggy is humiliated when Ralph refuses to let him join them.
Three boys attempt to climb a mountain, encountering difficult terrain and unknown paths. They find joy in the challenge and eventually reach the top.
Three boys explore an island, discovering a large rock they move with a grating sound, which they then push off the mountain. It crashes into the forest, leaving a circular hollow filled with blue flowers and butterflies. At the top of the mountain, they see a boat-shaped island with a pink tail and a rock fort across the green.
Ralph and Jack explore an uninhabited island, discovering a reef, lagoon, platform, and forest. They are excited by their discovery and plan to hunt for food. They find candle buds that resemble candles but cannot be lit. They then hear noises coming from the forest.
Three boys find a piglet caught in creepers and Jack draws his knife to kill it, but the piglet escapes. Jack is remorseful and they all laugh, but Jack vows to show no mercy next time.
Detailed Notes on Chapter 1
Stranded on an Island with No Grownups
•The fair-haired boy climbed down the last few feet of rock and headed towards the lagoon.
•He was followed by a fat boy who was scratching his knees on thorns as he walked.
•The fat boy asked if there were any grown-ups on the island and the fair-haired boy said he didn’t think so.
•The fat boy then mentioned the pilot who had been flying the plane, but the fair-haired boy said he must have flown off after dropping them.
•The fat boy then revealed that he had looked through a window during their descent and saw flames coming from the other part of the plane.
•The fair-haired boy concluded that the pilot couldn’t have landed the plane on the island as it had wheels.
The Discovery of Ralph and the Fat Boy
•Ralph and the fat boy meet on the scar, the remains of a cabin destroyed by a storm.
•Ralph is asked his name, but does not ask the fat boy’s in return.
•The fat boy explains that he has asthma and has been wearing glasses since he was three.
•Ralph escapes the conversation, running towards the lagoon.
•He finds the shore lined with palm trees and a bank of coarse grass and decaying coconuts.
•Behind the shore is the darkness of the forest and the open space of the scar.
•In the distance, the white surf is visible on the coral reef, and beyond that, the dark blue open sea.
•The lagoon is still and various shades of blue and green, with a thin stick beach between the palm terrace and the water.
Ralph and Piggy’s adventures on the Island
•Ralph and Piggy find themselves on an island with a beach and palm trees.
•Ralph jumps down from the terrace and strips off his clothes, revealing a body that might one day become a boxer.
•Piggy arrives and removes his windbreaker, revealing his glasses and the “V” on his nose.
•He suggests that they should have a meeting and Ralph teases him by calling him “Piggy”.
•Ralph dances around, machine-gunning Piggy and repeating his nickname.
Piggy and Ralph’s Day at the Beach
•Piggy and Ralph go to the beach and find a platform of pink granite covered with soil and grass and shaded by young palm trees.
•Ralph notices the coolness and shade, and the green reflections from the lagoon below.
•He then discovers a deep pool in the beach, and jumps in. The water is warmer than his blood.
•Piggy joins him, admiring Ralph’s swimming skills, and takes off his shoes and socks.
•He tests the water with his toe, surprised at how hot it is.
•Ralph dives under the pool, seeing a golden light shimmering just above his face.
•Piggy decides to join him, and takes off his shorts.
Ralph and Piggy’s Island Adventure
•Ralph and Piggy find themselves marooned on an island, with no way of communicating to the outside world.
•Piggy reveals that his father has passed away and his mother is absent.
•Ralph reflects on how his father, a Navy Commander, could rescue them if he only knew they were there.
•Piggy questions this, pointing out that nobody knows they are on the island, as the pilot had mentioned the atom bomb.
•Ralph and Piggy go to get their clothes, and Ralph puts on his grey shirt.
•Piggy reflects on the situation, concluding that they may be stuck on the island until they die.
•He suggests that they need to find the other people and do something.
Ralph Finds a Conch Shell
•Ralph discovers a coral island and dreams of its possibilities.
•Piggy insists on knowing how many of them are on the island.
•Ralph notices something creamy in the lagoon and Piggy identifies it as a conch shell.
•Piggy explains that it is valuable and describes a conch shell he had seen before.
•Ralph takes the shell from Piggy and notices its deep cream color and faded pink touches.
•It is 18 inches long with a slight spiral twist and delicate embossed pattern.
•Ralph shakes sand out of the deep tube and remarks on the memories it evokes.
Blowing the Conch
•Ralph and Piggy discover a conch shell, and Piggy suggests they use it to call the others.
•Ralph tries to blow the conch but fails, so Piggy explains that “he kind of spat” to blow it.
•Ralph takes the hint and succeeds in producing a deep, harsh note from the conch.
•The sound echoes through the forest and attracts a boy of about six years old.
•Ralph continues to blow the conch, and Piggy helps the young boy onto the platform.
•More voices start to shout in the forest as the sound of the conch carries for miles.
Meeting the Boys on the Beach
•Ralph blew short, penetrating blasts to announce the arrival of the boys on the beach.
•Piggy moved among the crowd, asking names and frowning to remember them.
•Johnny, an innocent-looking small boy, was the first to arrive, followed by three small children.
•More boys arrived, in various degrees of dress, and clustered in the green shade.
•The last two to arrive were twins, bullet-headed and with hair like tow, who threw themselves down grinning.
•Piggy repeated the twins’ names, getting muddled and causing the crowd to laugh.
Ralph and the Party of Boys
•Ralph saw a party of boys marching along the beach, wearing strange clothing and each wearing a black cap with a silver badge.
•The boy in charge had a golden badge and a black cloak with a long silver cross on the left breast and a hambone frill.
•The heat had given them the complexions of newly washed plums.
•The boy, who was tall and thin with red hair, asked if there was a man with a trumpet, to which Ralph replied that they were having a meeting.
•The choir huddled into line and stood swaying in the sun, with some attempting to protest.
•One of the boys flopped on his face and the line broke up, with Merridew, the boy in charge, ordering them to sit down and leave the fallen boy alone.
Election of Chief in the Absence of Grownups
•Ralph suggested that they all have names, and the boys were given names like Maurice, Roger, and Simon.
•Jack proposed that he should be Chief because he was the chapter chorister and head boy.
•Ralph proposed that they should have a Chief to decide things, and Roger suggested a vote.
•The boys clamored for Ralph to be Chief and he was elected by acclaim.
•Piggy showed intelligence, but Jack was the most obvious leader.
Ralph and Jack Lead an Expedition
•Ralph selected himself, Jack, and Simon to take part in the expedition.
•Jack blushed with mortification when the others voted Ralph as chief.
•Ralph offered the choir to Jack to make up for it, who accepted and chose them to be hunters.
•Ralph, Jack and Simon agreed to go on the expedition and Piggy also expressed his willingness to join.
•Jack grabbed a sizable sheath-knife and clouted it into a trunk to show his enthusiasm.
Exploring the End of the Island
•Jack, Ralph, and Simon jumped off the platform and walked along the sand past the bathing pool.
•Piggy was left behind and Ralph suggested that Simon walk in the middle of them so they could talk over his head.
•Ralph stopped and offered an apology to Piggy for his remark.
•The boys walked briskly on the sand and shared in a moment of excitement and laughter.
•Jack suggested they go exploring and Ralph suggested they go to the end of the island.
•At the end, they found a block sitting out in the lagoon with sea birds nesting on it.
•Ralph described it as looking like icing on a pink cake.
•The corner of the island, however, was not round, as there wasn’t one.
Exploring the Pink Granite Cliffs
•Ralph proposed climbing the mountain from the nearby beach, where there were more pink rocks and less jungle.
•The pink cliffs were wrenched and shattered into cubes, with the most usual feature being a pink cliff surmounted by a skewed block.
•Narrow tracks wound upward, and the boys edged along them deep in the plant world, with their faces to the rock.
•The difficulty was not the steep ascent, but the occasional plunges through the undergrowth to get to the next path.
•The boys were hot, dirty, and exhausted, but they experienced joy and satisfaction from their exploration.
•They continued their journey and were able to trot up the path, which led them into more open forest with a glimpse of the sea.
Exploring an Island
•The boys came across a scramble over pink rock leading to the top of the island.
•They came across a large rock which they managed to move with a grating sound, and it fell and smashed a deep hole in the forest.
•At the top of the mountain, they discovered a circular hollow filled with a blue flower and butterflies.
•From the top of the mountain, they could see the circular horizon of water and realized that the island was boat-shaped and surrounded by a coral reef.
Exploration of an Uninhabited Island
•Ralph, Jack and Simon explore an uninhabited island and are amazed by its beauty and potential.
•They observe the coral reef, peacock water, rocks, weeds and the dark blue sea, and point out the spot where they had landed.
•Ralph sketches a path down the slope, through the flowers and to the rock where the scar starts.
•They are lifted up by the sense of domination, but realize they are hungry, and so make their way through the trees to examine the candle bushes with waxen green buds.
•Finally, they hear noises of squeakings and hoofs, and decide to investigate.
The Pig Hunt
•Jack draws his knife with a flourish and attempts to stab the piglet, but pauses before the enormity of the act, giving the pig a chance to escape.
•Jack and the others laugh in shame and embarrassment, and Jack claims he was choosing a place to stab the pig.
•Ralph chides Jack for not sticking a pig, and Jack explains that one must cut the throat to let out the blood in order to eat the meat.
•Jack declares that next time, there will be no mercy, and he slams his knife into a tree trunk in rage.
•The boys then move on and find food as they make their way back to the platform for the meeting.
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