A plane has just crashed off the coast of nowhere, but there are survivors. Washed up ashore with nothing but their clothes and intellect on an island with no other inhabitants other than the occasional pig running around. Oh, and according to a little kid with a revealing birthmark that there is a monster out there that sounds like a giant octopus. One of these individuals Ralph, and a chubby friend with glasses he meets named Piggy whom he unfairly jokes about at first, finds a giant but nearly weightless conch shell and signals all the other individuals together for an assembly and one way or another, Ralph was holding the conch and is declared by vote the leader of the island. One well-built individual sees different; Jack Merridew, a hunter. Ralph says the top priority is to keep a fire going on top of the island's mountain/volcano in case a ship sails by to pick them up, as well as to build homes, ration food and make sure the island stays clean, and Jack wants things to be a little less organized. Wouldn't you if you were free of your parents? Well, in 1954 when this book was made, probably at a higher rate. I for one, personally, love my parents. Anyway, yes. The basic concept is three plot elements that all lead to survival; what's the best way to operate around the island, how they will get off of it, and if this sea monster is real.
Now even though this book is taught in schools, mostly in middle schools, it is worthy enough to be in the horror genre, if the cover wasn't already a giveaway. Horror elements not just because of some witty descriptions of these macabre caves and cliffs but it's focus of human nature, through kids of every age no less. When the hunters hunt, they occasionally give this chant: "Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!" Not exactly words that wouldn't be frowned upon in public nor would it suggest that being named "Piggy" at that time would be a good thing. To be fair, his real name is Phil. Though Ralph is a leader, all the boys (all of these islanders are male because they were being evacuated from their boarding school in England when on the plane) are separated into two groups: the littluns and the biguns, the littluns independent, the biguns all together now, which is fine enough but it's the conflict between the two, aka the conflict between Ralph and Jack, about the system, that makes the book really soar. I actually agreed with both Ralph and Jack on several occasions and the monster dynamic freaked me out a bit. Jack was bigger than Ralph yet Ralph was the leader and made up a rule about the conch that the group stuck with; the conflict was understandable and actually sometimes maddening.
If there were a few things I could say that are bad with the book, I'll say that sometimes it goes overboard with it's descriptions and the pig chant was sometimes a little unexplainable and I'm not sure if anyone could really sing that and not be mentally ill, even when they're starving for meat and don't have anything better to do. HOWEVER! I held off this book for years with bottom of the barrel expectations upon finally giving it a chance because of an overlong first chapter, a bad Piggy joke and a false statement from a YouTuber. Turns out, Lord of the Flies is loaded with entertainment and adventure value that dares to spill itself out like the blood of a stabbed cochon and is certainly as worthy of the middle school classroom as it has become.