After a plane carrying multiple British boys is shot down, two emerge from the wreckage, picking their way through the jungle. There is a fair boy named Ralph, and a fat, asthmatic boy who is called Piggy.
The boys quickly realize that they are alone on an island, with no adults. Their main conflict on the island is to survive long enough to be rescued. The first step to surviving on the island is to gather the other boys. They do so by blowing through a conch shell. When everyone is gathered, they quickly decide that Ralph should become the chief and Jack, the head choir boy, would lead the hunters.
After much conflict between Ralph and Jack and a split between tribes, Simon, one of the hardest working boys, goes off own his own to ponder his situation. After seeing a decapitated pig's head on a stick in the jungle that is meant to be an offering to "The Beast", he has a vision, and The Lord of the Flies tells him that "The Beast" is not real but lives within them.
After a feast, Simon's death, and a final split between tribes, Jack takes Piggy's glasses. Ralph decides to head to Jack's camp at Castle Rock to retrieve them. When Ralph tries to emphasize the importance of the glasses and the signal fire, as it is their only hope to being rescued, him and Jack begin to fight. Piggy tries to speak up, but Roger rolls a boulder down the cliff. Ralph dodges it, but Piggy does not, which results in his death.
After Piggy dies, Jack throws his spear at Ralph and the other boys join in, so Ralph escapes to the jungle. With Sam and Eric captured, Roger and Jack torture them and force them to join Jack. By himslef, Ralph hides in the jungle and thinks about what has happened. That night, he sneaks back to Castle Rock to talk to Sam and Eric, but they will not rejoin him. In the morning, the other boys find Ralph, but cannot reach him. They decide to smoke him out and light the jungle on fire.
After sprinting through the jungle, Ralph finally ends up on the beach where he collapses due to exhaustion. He knows he is about to succumb to a horrific death and there is nothing left he can do. Suddenly, he looks up to see a naval officer standing over him. The officer tells him that his ship has come to the island after seeing the blazing fire in the jungle. Jack’s hunters reach the beach and stop in their tracks upon seeing the officer. The boys break down in tears and the officer turns his back to let them regain their posture.