[[quoteright:234:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lord-of-the-flies_8088.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:234:DesertIsland meets [[TeenageWasteland British schoolkids]] and RealityEnsues.]]

->''"We are going to have fun on this island."''
-->-- '''Repeated line''', ''Lord of the Flies''

''Lord of the Flies'' is a 1954 novel written by William Golding. It is a {{Deconstruction}} of the KidsWildernessEpic and {{Robinsonade}}. A plane full of British schoolboys [[{{Robinsonade}} crashes on]] a DesertedIsland, and the darkness of humanity spills forth as they turn against each other.

It's had [[TheFilmOfTheBook two cinematic adaptations]] (in 1963 and 1990) and is referenced and parodied in various media. It is very popular for [[SchoolStudyMedia English Literature assignments]] in HighSchool on both sides of the Pond and [[LandDownUnder Down Under]], thanks to its themes about morality and authority, and its symbolism, which is extremely easy to spot, but open to many different interpretations.

The best-known example (and possibly the TropeMaker) of a TeenageWasteland, even when all the kids are under the age of fifteen.

Now with a [[Characters/LordOfTheFlies character sheet]].
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!!This work provides examples of:

* ActingYourIntellectualAge: Piggy all the way.
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Jack is stated to be ugly in the novel, however he is good looking in both the 1963 and 1990 version.
* AfterTheEnd: The boys were on a plane fleeing the soon-to-be-nuked UK. Though the home country is apparently in dire straits, the British Navy is still out doing its job as best as possible. May have verged into CosyCatastrophe if it wasn't for the fact that mention of the war was a very minor framing device with little direct bearing on the story.
* AmbitionIsEvil: Jack. His desire to be leader is evident from the outset.
* AnimalMotifs: A sow's head [[XOnAStick on a pike]], slowly decaying, serves as the metaphor for the decay of children's morals, thus making them closer to hoglike greed.
** The title itself is a reference to Beelzebub.
* AnyoneCanDie: And it's far from pretty.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: The divergent lens of Piggy's glasses (required for his short-sightedness) would be useless for lighting a fire. You would need a convergent lens, found in reading glasses. The kids would have had to learn one of the other methods for starting fires that they discussed, but that would break the plot.
** It's easy to assume Piggy is farsighted until, at the beginning of chapter eleven, it says: "Piggy sat expressionless behind the luminous wall of his myopia." The concave lenses needed to fix myopia are incapable of focusing light to a point, thus incapable of starting a fire. Whether Golding was unaware of that distinction or had myopia and hyperopia confused, the net result is a clear-cut case of poor research.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: In the book, TheHero Ralph is described as fair-haired, athletic, charismatic and handsome; RivalTurnedEvil Jack is redhaired, with freckles and ugly. The movie averts this. Jack is a perfectly pleasant looking boy.
* BigBad: Jack Merridew.
* BigNo: Ralph's reaction to [[spoiler: Piggy before he's about to be killed by a rock, dropped by Roger,]] in the 90's remake.
* BittersweetEnding: The [[spoiler:[[DeusExMachina timely arrival of the British Navy]]]] is considered the only thing standing in between this ending and a DownerEnding. The ending is still far too dark when [[spoiler:Ralph]] realized the evil inside him and he wept.
-->[[spoiler:"Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy."]]
* BlackAndGreyMorality: Essentially. A number of those who side with Ralph are closer to the white side, but they're certainly not saints.
** The only character who is really above this is [[IncorruptiblePurePureness Simon]]. His foil, Roger, is established as someone who's pretty far on the black side.
* BlindWithoutEm: Piggy.
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead: Ralph is described as being 'fair-haired', Piggy and Simon are dark-haired, and Jack is a redhead.
* BlondeGuysAreEvil: Averted in the book where Ralph is described as fair haired. Played straight in both movies where Ralph has dark hair while Jack is the one who is fair haired.
* BreakTheCutie: All the kids to some extent. [[spoiler:In the case of Piggy and Simon, KillTheCutie.]]
* BreakingSpeech: [[spoiler: Given by the Lord of the Flies to Simon about human nature and law of the jungle and stuff.]]
* ButtMonkey: Piggy, oh so much. He is the one person who can unite everyone else...because they all enjoy laughing at him and feel connected by excluding Piggy. Even Ralph.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: ''So'' freaking averted.
* ChromosomeCasting: A male example - a bit less than half of the characters are pupils at the same single-sex boarding school.
* CrapsackWorld: ''Very'' much so.
* DareToBeBadass: Piggy, especially considering he's the most NonActionGuy of the survivors...
* DeconstructiveParody: It was actually written as a parody, though the specific form of [[KidsWildernessEpic Kids Wilderness]] {{Robinsonade}} that it was attacking is something of a ForgottenTrope. It is also considered a rather brutal skewering of the pip-pip-cheerio book ''Coral Island''.
* DesertedIsland
* DeusExMachina: [[spoiler: Ralph is rescued by the Royal Navy at the last minute, effectively out of the blue. This was intentional, as the Naval Officer is important in rounding off the themes of the story, and the sudden abruptness with which he appears (with absolutely no foreshadowing) is crucial to highlighting the rapidity with which the appearance of an authority can change everything.]]
** Lampshaded in ''TheSimpsons'' WholePlotReference "Das Bus";
--->''[[spoiler:Eventually, the kids were rescued, by... [[AssPull oh, let's say... Moe]].]]''
** See also the WordOfGod in InferredHolocaust
* DeweyDefeatsTruman: ''Lord of the Flies'' is actually set in [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture the near future]] (of 1956), after a nuclear war between the USSR and Britain. This is mentioned by some of the boys in the book (along with the existence of nuclear bombs and their use), although usually in passing.
* DisasterDemocracy
* TheDividual: Sam and Eric, who are commonly referred to with one name (Samneric) and are recognized as one person in the assembly.
* DoubleEntendre: The scene where the screaming sow is killed with sharpened sticks is written as a gang-rape...
** The scene where the kids reenact this, using Robert as a replacement pig, is even worse, what with lines like "Ralph too was fighting to get near, to get a handful of that brown, vulnerable flesh."
* TheDragon: Roger becomes this to Jack as his tribe's executioner.
* DyingForSymbolism: The makeshift society gradually goes into chaos, and when [[spoiler:Simon dies, it represents the death of the innocence of the kids on the island.]]
** [[spoiler: Piggy's death, after making a moral stand for order and unity, marks the complete collapse of civilization. Sam and Eric are captured, and Ralph is left helpless and alone.]]
* EnemyWithin: "Maybe there is no monster on the island. Maybe... it's just us..." [[spoiler: The Lord of the Flies outright states this to Simon in a vision.]]
--> [[spoiler: '''Lord of the Flies''': ''You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you? Close, close, close! I'm the reason why its no go? Why things are what they are?'']]
* EnfantTerrible: Jack and Roger.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Even though he hated [[spoiler:Piggy, even Jack is terrified when Roger murders him.]]
** Although he recovers quickly and threatens Ralph with the same fate, cementing his status as the main antagonist.
* EvilRedhead: Jack.
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: As the months pass, all the boys' hair becomes long and shaggy (except for the wise Piggy's), and, especially for our hero, Ralph, [[RuleOfSymbolism starts obscuring their vision.]]
* FaceOfAnAngelMindOfADemon: Jack, in the two films, is this.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In hindsight, [[spoiler: the arrival of the Royal Navy]] at the book's climax is predicted early in the book, though none present could have guessed the circumstances under which that would happen.
* FieryRedhead: Jack.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: Ralph and Jack are Choleric, Piggy is Melancholic, Samneric are Sanguine, and Simon is Phlegmatic.
* FreudianTrio: Piggy: the superego; Ralph: the ego; Jack: the id.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Simon is the only boy who enjoys the island as a natural paradise and adopts a lizard as pet. Even, he makes a little "HappyPlace" to himself in the more nature-beautiful side of the woods that represents his innate good nature and innocence. [[spoiler:The sow's head placed later represents how evil has started to contaminate.]]
* GenreSavvy: Ralph describes being on an island "Like a book." Which causes many of the littluns to name out titles such as "Treasure Island" and similar stories.
** GenreBlindness: Too bad this book is ''[[DarkerAndEdgier not,]]'' [[DarkerAndEdgier in fact, "like The Coral Island."]]
* GoodIsImpotent: A major theme of the book. Raplh and Piggy can't get the boys to work together for their own good when faced against the savage impulses that Jack champions, Simon, TheHeart, spends all his time alone until he has an epiphany about "the monster" and is unable to tell the others about it, and in subtle but telling passage, when the twins, the last boys who support Ralph and Piggy, are bound by Jack and the others, the text describes their meager protests as "protested out of the heart of civilization" with lines like "Oh, I say!" and the like. This is contrasted with the brutal directnesss and action of Jack and his followers, and how easily it overwhelms the good.
** Piggy more or less symbolizes this. He is the only one who keeps any kind of straight mind, but his severe physical handicaps and his own nerdiness prevent him from asserting these ideals. [[spoiler: And when his glasses are stolen from him, it symbolizes the collapse of order as he is left helpless.]]
* [[HalfHeartedHenchman Half-Hearted Henchmen]]: Some of those who joins Jack's side only does so purely out of fear of being killed by him. Piggy even suggests to Ralph (when they're the only ones left of their team) that they might as well join him too or else they'll get killed [[spoiler: like Simon was.]] Later on in the book, when [[spoiler: Jack's group murdered Piggy and is searching for Ralph to kill him too, the twins who were formerly on Ralph's team, find him, but they don't blow his cover since they don't want to kill him, and never wanted to in the first place.]]
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Jack and his choir [[spoiler: and eventually almost every boy on the island]] turn into savage beasts in their obsession with killing the beast.
* HobbesWasRight: Could be considered to be an example of this trope, but it could also be considered to simply be an example of a CrapsackWorld setting implying that government and anarchy are both bound to fail given that it starts with a wartime evacuation and ends with the boys being rescued by a naval warship, thereby subtly implying that even "civilised" society is not actually any better. The book is accessible to several critical interpretations.
* HumanoidAbomination: The pig's head on a stick is suspiciously human-like, especially at a distance. It's about the height of a person... only with a pig's head instead of a human head. Considering it was quite dark when the boys first put it up, no wonder they ran away.
* HumansAreBastards / HumansAreTheRealMonsters: The book is the epitome of this trope. Which of these it qualifies for depends on how you read the Beast, although the book strongly implies [[spoiler:it is a product of the boys' own nature]].
** As WordOfGod put it:
---> ''[[spoiler:"The officer, having interrupted a manhunt, prepares to take the children off the island in a cruiser [[HereWeGoAgain which will presently be hunting its enemy in the same implacable way.]] [[DownerEnding And who will save the adult and his cruiser?"]]]]''
* IncorruptiblePurePureness: Simon, who is usually described by literary critics as [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory a Christ-like figure]].
* {{Irony}}: Ralph wants to keep the fire lit to attract rescue. Jack wants the fire snuffed out so their fun won't end. [[spoiler: Jack [[NiceJobFixingItVillain manages to draw the attention of the Royal Navy]] by setting fire to the entire island in an attempt to [[KillItWithFire kill Ralph]]. It is implied that they wouldn't have noticed the island at all otherwise.]]
* ItGetsEasier: Roger escalates from hitting "littluns" with rocks to leading the boys in [[spoiler: killing Simon in mass hysteria]] to [[spoiler: outright murdering Piggy]].
* KidsAreCruel / TeensAreMonsters: Big time, especially with Roger. The islanders are particularly mean to Piggy.
* [[spoiler: KillTheCutie]]: [[spoiler: Simon and Piggy.]]
* LampshadeHanging: [[spoiler:The officer who rescues them just as Ralph is about to be killed]] remarks, "Jolly good show. Like ''TheCoralIsland''.", with said book being one of the cheerier RousseauWasRight novels.
* MadnessMantra: Percival Wemys Madison, The Vicarage, Harcourt Street, Anthony, Hants, telephone, telephone, tele
** ''"Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!"''
* MeaningfulName: Three of the main characters are named directly after Coral Island characters. The fourth? Simon from ''[[RuleOfSymbolism Peterkin]]''.
* MessianicArchetype: Subverted and deconstructed. [[spoiler:The description of Simon's death sounds very much alike a atonement sacrifice, but his death rather than save the boys for their sins, or just show them that how they act is wrong, [[SenselessSacrifice instead it just push them deeper into moral guilt]] as they proceed to completely forget about him]] cementing the lost and oblivion of innoccence.
* MurderByMistake: [[spoiler: Simon's death at the hands of the other boys.]]
* NamingConventions: At that time and place, the pupils should be on a LastNameBasis and Jack [[TheyCallMeMisterTibbs insists]] on "Merridew", but everyone quickly accepts FirstNameBasis, except for [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Piggy]], whose nickname started out as an insult. Due to this, [[NoNameGiven none of the important characters has his full name revealed]] except for Jack. And, to a lesser extent, the littlun with the birthmark.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: [[spoiler: Jack has the entire island on fire to kill Ralph - the massive amounts of smoke actually summon a Naval ship, which Ralph and Piggy had been awaiting the whole book long.]]
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: In order to soften the blow of losing his leadership to him, Ralph declares Jack leader of the hunters. This earnest gesture can largely be seen as the beginning of the end, as it inadvertently sows the seeds of a rival faction with Jack at its head.
* NonActionGuy: Piggy has asthma, and Simon suffers fainting spells, so both qualify.
* NoNewFashionsInTheFuture: Set in the near-to-mid future from 1954, so TheSixties...but it's inferred that nobody's hair was long and shaggy to begin with.
* OhCrap: Ralph, upon seeing [[spoiler: Sam and Eric fighting each other]], realizes how screwed his order is.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Piggy, whose nickname started out as an insult. Ralph never bothers to learn his real name.
* OnlySaneMan: Piggy and Simon. Possibly Ralph as well.
* ParachuteInATree: The 'monster' is actually a dead parachuter.
* PowerTrio: Again, a deconstruction.
** Id: Jack.
** Ego: Ralph.
** Superego: Piggy (or Simon, if you think that makes more sense). Actually one could argue that Piggy is also the id. He represents the societal conscience but when it comes to personal desires, like food, Piggy is the id.
* PrimalFear / ParanoiaFuel / YourMindMakesItReal : What gradually leads the boys into becoming superstitious and violent savages.
* PsychicNosebleed: Simon and his [[spoiler: feverish confrontation/hallucination with the pig's head.]]
* PsychoSupporter: Roger
* PuttingOnTheReich: Jack's attitude, rhetoric and eventual reign over the other boys have strong shades of Nazi Germany. His mud mask is a striking design in red, white and black...
* RedOniBlueOni: Jack and Ralph, respectively.
* {{Robinsonade}}
* RuleOfSymbolism: Most of the book. Jack insists on being called "Merridew" and leads a ''choir''. Eventually, after he discovers how to kill, his group degenerates into savagery. Sound similar to the story of [[{{Satan}} anyone we know]]? Oh, and the [[spoiler:spectral corpse on the mountain that terrifies everyone]] is the Shadow of War, [[spoiler:harmless in fact (the pilot is dead), but terrifying to look at]].
** The, ah, [[FreudWasRight 'spearing' of a mother pig]].
* {{Satan}}: "Lord of the Flies" is a literal translation of the Hebrew "Baalzevuv", root of the modern "Beelzebub". [[note]]The ancient Philistines worshiped the lightning god Ba'al, referring to him as "Ba'al Zebb", or "Lord of Zebb". "Ba'al Zebb" sounds very close to "Lord of the Flies" in Hebrew. The ancient Israelites used this fact to mock their enemies.[[/note]]
* ShoutOut: Golding wrote ''Lord of the Flies'' partly to subvert children's adventure literature, in particular ''The Coral Island'' by R.M. Ballantyne, which also provided the names of Ralph and Jack. The Naval officer even has the following line:
--> ''"I know. Jolly good show. Like the Coral Island."''
** This completes the BookEnds begun when the children first realize they're alone on a tropical island.
--->''"It's like in a book."''
--->''At once there was a clamor.''
--->''"Literature/TreasureIsland--"''
--->''"Literature/SwallowsAndAmazons--"''
--->''"Coral Island--"''
--->''Ralph waved the conch.''
--->''"This is our island. It's a good island. Until the grownups come to fetch us we'll have fun."''
* SingleMindedTwins: Sort of. Sam and Eric are separate people, but separately, they can't do anything. They are treated as one person: Samneric.
* SmallSecludedWorld
* SpellMyNameWithAThe: [[BeamMeUpScotty Averted.]] It's 'Lord of the Flies,' not 'The Lord Of The Flies.'
* TheSociopath: Roger.
* SolarPoweredMagnifyingGlass: Piggy's glasses are used to set fires, despite the above mention of ArtisticLicense.
* {{Survival Mantra}}: Poor Percival, one of the littluns' having been driven to a depression and loneliness from the neglect by the older boys tirelessly recites his name and address--''"Percival Wemys Madison, of the Vicarage, Harcourt St. Anthony"--''like an incantation", only for his memory to begin to falter as the story and degradation of the island's civilization progresses. By the end, when Percival is finally able to recite this crucial information to someone that can actually help him, he can only mouth wordlessly at the naval officer, his time on the island causing him to have forgotten it.
* TakeThat: To ''TheCoralIsland''.
* TeamMom: Simon is the one who mostly takes care of the littluns. In a lesser degree, Piggy, whose constant quoting of his aunt makes him the only ''female'' voice around the bunch of boys.
* TeenageWasteland: The children have to figure out how to govern themselves on the island. It doesn't go well. Possibly the TropeMaker.
* ThatManIsDead: Implied when Percival Wemys Mason, who has made of his name and address his SurvivalMantra, forgets it exactly at the moment he meets someone who can really help him.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Samneric.
* TitleDrop
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: [[spoiler: Simon.]]
* TribalFacePaint: Featured with Jack and the hunters. One of the chapters is, after all, named "Painted Faces and Long Hair".
* TrueCompanions: Subverted. The boys think they'll be like this, but they quickly turn against each other.
* WaifProphet: Simon
* WeirdMoon: A thin crescent moon cannot possibly rise at sunset, as shown in one scene -- such a moon would have to be full.
* WhatBeautifulEyes: Simon's eyes are described as "so bright they had deceived Ralph into thinking him delightfully gay and wicked." In {{Fanon}}, these are portrayed as InnocentBlueEyes due to Simon being [[IncorruptiblePurePureness the purest of the boys]], or GreenEyes to show [[FriendToAllLivingThings Simon's connection to nature]].
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: Ralph, Piggy and Simon.
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And whatever you do, we ''[[SurvivalMantra mustn't let the fire go out.]]'' Because... because...oh God, I can't remember.
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