The story begins with two boys, Ralph and Piggy, coming out onto
the beach from the dense jungle where they have met. The reader
realizes from their conversation that they are on an island although
they are yet to confirm it. They belong to a group of boys who
were being flown to some unknown destination, but their plane has
crashed. The pilot of the plane is missing, and there seems to be no
grown-ups on the island.
Ralph and Piggy wonder where the other boys could be. They find
a conch shell and blow on it, sending out a loud and blaring sound.
All of the other children soon start to appear. First to enter is a
party of boys marching in step in two parallel lines. They are all
dressed in strange, but similar, clothing. They are choirboys, and
their leader is Jack Merridew. He is authoritative and very rude to
Piggy; after a few short questions, he seems to size up the
situation. Jack wishes to be the chief, especially since he is already
head of the choirboys. The boys, however, decide to have a vote;
everyone except the choir votes for Ralph as their leader. Realizing
Jack's anger at being defeated, Ralph offers him the position of
Head of the Hunters.
Ralph, Jack and Simon decide to explore the island while the
others are asked to wait on the beach. Jack rudely puts down piggy
when he wishes to join them. All three boys start off briskly, happy
to be in each other's company. They reach the end of the island,
which has jagged rocks stretching towards the mountains. They
have to move in and out of the jungle to reach the rocky paths
leading upward. They move towards the summit, pushing a huge
rock over the edge of the cliff on the way, an event that clearly
foreshadows the boulder that pushes Piggy over the cliff to his
death on the rocks below.
The view from the square mountaintop is breathtaking. It confirms
that they are on an uninhabited island. Ralph proudly keeps
proclaiming their ownership of the land. On their way back down,
they come across a piglet caught in the creepers. Jack draws his
knife, ready to kill the pig, but he stops. He is obviously a civilized
boy with no stomach for the blood letting. The pig takes advantage
of the moment and runs away. Jack excuses himself by saying that
he was choosing the right place to stab it and that the next time he
would definitely kill. The boys come out of the jungle and move
towards the boys waiting on the beach.