Wider Reading Project
One fact about this book should be established from the start - this is not a children's book. The 'littluns' and 'bigguns' represent members of the human race. The conflict between law and barbarism would have, I believe to be the same had the island been inhabited with adult survivors instead of children.
The novel is about a transition from an immensely exciting adventure of some children, to what eventually becomes full-scale war, ending with the arrival of the naval officer who rescued them. Tough I still wonder if they were really saved, considering the atomic war which, at that time was still raging around the globe.
The book begins by introducing the two of the characters - Ralph and Piggy. Ralph finds a conch (a shell shaped in such a way that when blown it will sound) and blows it, summoning the rest of the boys, who were on the aeroplane and survived the crash.
Last to arrive are the choir, who are described as a 'black catterpillar moving along the beach.'
On closer examination is is found that there is a wide variance in the age of the boys, from about 6 to 12 years of age. From here on in the book the younger boys are simply referred to as the 'littluns' and the older boys as 'bigguns' although the younger children are referred to more collectively in the story. Ralph is elected chief of the group and his first action is for Jack, Simon and himself to go on a scout to check if the island is really and island or is attached to anything else, they find that it is an island and return to the rest of the boys.
It is decided at the meeting held...