Lord of the Flies tells the story of a plane of boys who flee from Britain while a war is in full swing, and crash land near a deserted island in the Pacific after being shot down. As the story progresses, leadership is developed and certain boys take on roles that prove to be intoxicating to the point that malicious behavior erupts. In situations that seem inherently dangerous, conforming to the mob mentality seems to be human nature.
At first Ralph is elected as the leader. He then appoints Jack - the antagonist - as the leader of a group of boys designated to hunt and provide food for the group. Naturally, the hunters adorn themselves with masks, which seems to lend to their anonymity, making their crazed behavior easier to engage in. While this type of misbehavior is seen frequently in the media, it seems out of place for a children's novel, especially one written nearly a half-century ago.
Lord of the Flies illustrates what can result from a leader on a power trip, but also, what kind of beliefs people will engage in when there is a fear factor involved. The younger boys of the group develop a fear of a monster lurking on the island, after one of the "littluns" disappears. After a thorough search results in nothing, they conclude that the monster lives in the sea and only emerges to commit heinous acts. Never mind the fact that the boy disappeared after a tremendous fire that spread after a signal fire burned out of control. Later, an ejected pilot's parachute that is ensnared in a tree fools a boy who comes across it at night into thinking that he actually saw the monster. One of the boys, Simon, discovers the parachute and rushes back to camp, only to be killed by the other boys who thought he was the monster.
Once Jack and his hunters absconded to a hideout, Ralph and his followers tried to reason with him. Once they met, a battle ensued, and one boy named Roger, rolled a boulder of the cliff, crushing Piggy's - one of Ralph's team members' - head. Ralph managed to dodge all the spears that were flung his way, and ran to the point of exhaustion, but an eventual rescue. Lord of the Flies illustrates how fear and power can coerce people who are of a good nature to do wicked acts.