Written in the 1950's this book does make a compelling read.An Atomic War.
An aircraft carrying children from English Public Schools away from the war is
shot down by enemy fire somewhere over the Pacific.
The children ages 6-12yrs find themselves stranded and abandoned on an
unpopulated tropical island without any adult supervision. The environment
on this tropical paradise doesn't really pose as a real challenge for the boys,
due to the abundance of fruit, nuts,flowers and plenty of fresh water as well
as a generally warm stable climate.
At first the boys try to keep a sense of reason and order while at the same
time have some fun before they are rescued by the adults.Ralph and another
boy nick name "Piggy" are two of the central characters who have a constant
sense of logic and reason throughout the book and their main priority is to
build a fire on the highest point of the island hoping that a passing ship will see
the smoke and come to their rescue, and to keep the fire alight.
Ralph is appointed as leader of the boys through a democratic vote,
however Jack another older boy with an instant dislike for 'Piggy' doesn't like
not being the leader. So he forms a hunting party as there are wild pigs on the
island. To kill a pig will give them meat.
Eventually Jack and his followers split from Ralph and the others and soon
become obsessed with hunting and killing and the ritual they create around the
kill. This will lead to the accidental death of one boy and the deliberate death
of another and the attempted murder of Ralph.
Ralph's life is only saved from the 'savages' by the timely arrival of a passing
ship who saw the smoke and came to investigate.
The book while being an adventure story does also explore the darker side
of humanity and leaves much to be discussed and debated.