Lord of the Flies Chapter 2

AUTHOR: William Golding


Lord of the Flies Chapter 2: Summary, Plot, Characters, Literary Analysis & More

“Lord of the Flies” is a novel by William Golding, first published in 1954. This novel was one of Golding’s greatest critical and popular successes. 

In Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies,” titled “Younger Boys,” we delve deeper into the unfolding story.

It explores the dynamics between the younger and older boys on the uninhabited island, the significance of Piggy’s glasses, and the growing tension surrounding the signal fire.

Readers may also be interested in our full “Lord of the Flies” Summary, as well as our individual “Lord of the Flies” Chapter analyses. These include:

In Chapter 2 of "Lord of the Flies," a blend of genres contributes to the narrative's complexity. Two key genres at play are "Drama" and "Psychological Thriller."

The Plot

In Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies,” the group of boys stranded on the uninhabited island begins to grapple with their dire situation. 

The choir boys, led by Jack, exhibit a growing inclination towards hunting and savagery.

A young boy, symbolically named “Piggy,” struggles to assert his voice and maintain order among the boys. 

Meanwhile, the concept of the “Lord of the Flies” starts to take shape as they encounter a dead sow’s head impaled on a stick, a gruesome manifestation of their inner fears and darkness.

Ralph, the only boy focused on maintaining a signal fire, faces increasing challenges as tensions rise among the other boys.


In Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies,” a diverse cast of characters comprising the group of stranded boys on the island grapple with their changing circumstances and the emergence of primal instincts.


As the elected leader, Ralph struggles to maintain a sense of order and rationality among the boys, especially in contrast to Jack’s growing obsession with hunting.


Jack’s aggressive demeanor and focus on hunting sow the seeds of division within the group, challenging Ralph’s leadership.


Piggy’s rationality and reliance on his glasses for fire symbolize a fragile link to civilization amidst the boys’ descent into savagery.

“Lord of the Flies”

This symbolic representation of evil and the boys’ inner darkness starts to take form, exerting a sinister influence on their actions and decisions.

The Younger Boys

The younger boys’ vulnerability and impressionability are evident as they become drawn into the conflict between Ralph and Jack, highlighting the fragile nature of innocence in the face of primal instincts.

Key Themes

In Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies,” several themes come to the forefront. Among them are the themes of “Nature and Primal Instincts” and “The Loss of Innocence,” which are particularly prominent.

Nature and Primal Instincts

The dead wood on the island symbolizes the untamed wilderness and the boys’ growing descent into primal instincts as they transition from civilized children to hunters.

The Loss of Innocence

The presence of a small boy among the group underscores the vulnerability of youth in the face of the island’s challenges, highlighting the theme of the loss of innocence as the boys grapple with the harsh realities of their situation.

Genres in Lord of the Flies Chapter 2

In Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies,” a blend of genres contributes to the narrative’s complexity. Two key genres at play are “Drama” and “Psychological Thriller.”


The chapter unfolds as a dramatic narrative, with tensions rising as only Ralph, the elected leader, attempts to maintain order among the boys.

Jack’s interruptions and the older boys’ dismissive attitudes add to the dramatic conflict, creating a sense of urgency and confrontation.

Psychological Thriller

The psychological thriller aspect emerges as Ralph reassures the group and blows the conch shell in an attempt to restore order.

However, the underlying psychological tension simmers beneath the surface, foreshadowing the darker events to come on the island.

Language used in Lord of the Flies Chapter 2

In Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies,” William Golding employs a descriptive and immersive writing style to convey the story’s atmosphere and emotions.

As Jack points to new possibilities, Ralph thinks deeply about the challenges ahead. The presence of only Simon in certain situations creates an eerie and isolated ambiance.

Ralph’s face-off with the natural world, symbolized by pig droppings and the bathing pool, highlights the clash between the boys’ civilized upbringing and the primal environment they now find themselves in, evoking a sense of unease and foreboding.

Literary devices in Lord of the Flies Chapter 2

The author skillfully employs various literary devices to enhance the narrative.

One notable example is the use of symbolism, as seen when the older boys dismiss Piggy’s concerns, symbolizing the growing divide between rationality and savagery.

Golding also employs foreshadowing, hinting at the darker events to come on the island.

Additionally, he uses vivid imagery to paint a vivid picture of the boys’ surroundings and their emotional states, creating a rich and immersive reading experience.


In Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies,” William Golding employs similes to provide readers with vivid imagery and deeper understanding. When Jack interrupts Ralph during the assembly, describing the need to hunt as “like balm,” it’s akin to a soothing remedy.

This simile helps readers grasp the intense allure of hunting for Jack, emphasizing the growing conflict between hunting and maintaining civilization.

When Ralph blows the conch, likening its sound to a “golden trickling,” it enriches the reader’s engagement by conveying a sense of purity and unity that the conch represents amidst the gathering chaos.


Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies” contains metaphors that carry significant meaning. When Ralph blows the conch, it serves as a metaphor for order and democracy. The conch’s sound, compared to a “trumpet,” symbolizes the call for civilized behavior and cooperation.

Jack’s interruptions, contrasting with the conch’s symbolism, metaphorically represent the rising challenge to authority and order, as if a storm brewing in the distance.

These metaphors provide layers of depth, enhancing the reader’s engagement and understanding of the evolving dynamics on the island.


In Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies,” analogies are employed to help readers grasp complex ideas.

When Ralph grabs the conch, it’s like a symbol of authority being seized, akin to a gavel in a courtroom. This analogy clarifies the power dynamic within the group.

Additionally, the reference to “passing ships” serves as an analogy for lost opportunities, emphasizing how the boys’ focus on immediate concerns keeps them from rescue, elucidating the theme of their isolation.


Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies” is rich in vivid imagery that immerses readers in the story. The description of the forest fire igniting paints a fiery and chaotic scene, evoking a sense of urgency and danger.

The mention of passing ships creates a contrasting image of hope on the horizon, offering readers a glimpse of potential salvation.

This imagery enhances the sensory experience, allowing readers to feel the tension, fear, and longing that the characters experience on the island.


Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies” contains significant symbolism, revealing connections to larger themes. The littlest boys symbolize innocence on the island, highlighting how it’s vulnerable and easily influenced.

The conch, when Ralph announces its significance, symbolizes democratic order and authority. Its power to gather the boys and maintain order links to the broader theme of civilization versus chaos.

The presence of these symbols emphasizes the fragility of societal norms in the face of primal instincts and sets the stage for the unfolding conflict.


In “Lord of the Flies,” personification enhances the depth of characters and the setting. The younger children personify vulnerability, illustrating how they are impressionable and need guidance.

The island itself is personified as a character, influencing the boys’ behaviors and symbolizing the primal forces at work. Ralph’s announcement personifies the conch as an entity with the authority to maintain order.

These instances of personification breathe life into elements of the story, making them more relatable and amplifying the tension between civilization and savagery.


Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies” utilizes hyperbole to create a sense of heightened tension and drama.

When Jack volunteers to be the leader of the hunting party, the exaggeration of his enthusiasm as “volunteering eagerly” underscores his growing obsession with hunting and power.

Ralph assures the group that the fire will never go out, employing hyperbole to emphasize the importance of the signal fire.

These exaggerations intensify the narrative’s emotional impact, highlighting the escalating conflicts and primal instincts among the boys.


Various forms of irony are present in Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies,” adding depth to the story. Dramatic irony emerges as Piggy tells the boys not to fear a “snake thing” in the forest, while readers are aware that the true “beastie” is the darkness within themselves.

Situational irony occurs as the boys initially focus on maintaining the conch rule for order but gradually deviate from it, ultimately leading to chaos.

These ironic elements enhance the story’s complexity and contribute to the thematic exploration of the boys’ descent into savagery.


Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies” skillfully employs juxtaposition to emphasize contrasts and thought-provoking scenarios.

As the boys find themselves on the island, the juxtaposition between Jack’s enthusiastic statement about hunting and the boys’ inability to maintain interest in maintaining the signal fire highlights the growing divide between primal instincts and the need for rescue.

The entire group’s shift from Ralph’s initial attempts to create order to a more chaotic existence is juxtaposed to underscore the themes of civilization versus savagery.


Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies” utilizes onomatopoeic words to engage readers’ auditory senses. When the boys attempt to build a large fire, the crackling and sizzling sounds of the burning wood are vividly depicted through onomatopoeia.

This adds an auditory dimension to the narrative, immersing readers in the scene and creating a sensory experience that enhances the story’s intensity.

The Use of Dialogue 

Dialogue in Chapter 2 serves multiple purposes. It conveys character traits, such as Jack’s agreement or Piggy’s inquiries, revealing their personalities.

It also hints at the boys’ inability to maintain their initial enthusiasm for building the fire, foreshadowing their eventual loss of interest in maintaining order.

The entire group’s interaction through dialogue highlights the evolving dynamics on the island, showcasing the tension between order and chaos.

Word Play 

Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies” doesn’t heavily employ wordplay techniques like puns or double entendre. Instead, the narrative focuses more on the evolving dynamics and the internal and external conflicts among the boys.

However, the subtle nuances in the dialogue and the choices of words contribute to the overarching themes of the story, such as the fragility of civilization and the primal instincts that gradually surface.


Parallelism emerges through the repetition of a pattern within the narrative. Jack’s statement that “we’ll have rules” mirrors Ralph’s assertion of order on the island, highlighting their initial commitment to civilization.

However, the repeated theme that the boys “lose interest” in various crucial tasks, echoed throughout the chapter, serves as a parallel narrative thread.

This parallelism underscores the gradual breakdown of order and foreshadows the group’s descent into chaos. It reinforces the message that the collective interest in maintaining civilized norms is eroding, paving the way for more primal instincts to prevail.

Lord of the Flies Chapter 2: FAQs

Explore the frequently asked questions about Chapter 2 in this “Lord of the Flies” Chapter 2 summary.

Gain deeper insights into the characters, plot developments, and themes in this pivotal section of William Golding’s classic novel.

What happens in Chapter 2 in Lord of the Flies?

In Chapter 2 of “Lord of the Flies,” the boys attempt to establish order on the island. They focus on building shelters and maintaining a signal fire for rescue. However, conflicts begin to emerge, foreshadowing the challenges they’ll face in preserving civilization.

What happened to the fire in Lord of the Flies Chapter 2?

In Chapter 2, the fire, initially intended for signaling rescue, accidentally goes out due to the boys’ neglect while they are engrossed in other activities. This incident foreshadows their inability to maintain critical elements of civilization.

What did the older boys accidentally do Lord of the Flies Chapter 2?

The older boys accidentally let the fire burn out while they become distracted by their fascination with hunting and neglect their duty to tend to the signal fire. This action symbolizes their growing detachment from the need for rescue and the allure of their primal instincts.

What are the important symbols in Chapter 2 of Lord of the Flies?

Important symbols in Chapter 2 include the conch shell, representing order and authority; the signal fire, symbolizing the boys’ hope of rescue; and the dead wood, signifying their initial failure to harness nature’s resources effectively. These symbols highlight the central themes of the story.

Summing up: Lord of the Flies Chapter 2: Summary, Plot & More

As you are now aware from this “Lord of the Flies” Chapter 2 summary, in this part of the book the narrative further delves into the complex dynamics among the boys stranded on the island.

Ralph’s efforts to maintain order, symbolized by his decisions to make rules, take responsibility, and encourage the construction of shelters, highlight the struggle to uphold civilization in the face of mounting challenges.

However, signs of discord and the boys’ eventual loss of interest in these tasks foreshadow the darker turns the story will take.

This chapter underscores the fragility of societal norms and the gradual erosion of order in the face of primal instincts.

As “Lord of the Flies” continues, it compels readers to contemplate the thin veneer of civilization and the innate human capacity for both good and evil, making it a thought-provoking and enduring work.

Other Notable Works by William Golding

If you are interested in “Lord of the Flies”, you may be interested in other works by William Golding including:

  • The Inheritors” (1955) – A novel that explores the clash between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens.
  • Pincher Martin” (1956) – A psychological survival novel following the experiences of a shipwrecked sailor.
  • The Spire” (1964) – A novel set in the medieval period, centered around the construction of a massive cathedral spire.
  • The Pyramid” (1967) – An allegorical novel examining the human condition through the lens of ancient Egypt.
  • The Paper Men” (1984) – A novel that delves into the world of literature and academia, exploring themes of identity and obsession.

These works showcase Golding’s versatility as a writer and his penchant for delving into the complexities of human nature and society.

In Chapter 2 of "Lord of the Flies," a blend of genres contributes to the narrative's complexity. Two key genres at play are "Drama" and "Psychological Thriller."