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Chapter One The Sound of the Shell The novel begins in the aftermath of a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean during an unnamed war in which a group of English schoolboys are isolated on what they assume to be an island under no adult supervision The pilot died in the crash and the plane has been swept to sea by a storm Among the survivors are a young fair-haired boy of twelve named Ralph and a pudgy boy referred to only by the derisive nickname from school that he dislikes Piggy Piggy insists that he can neither run nor swim well because of his asthma Ralph insists that his father a commander in the Navy will come and rescue them Both of Piggys parents had already died Piggy doubts that anybody will find them and suggests that the boys should gather together Ralph finds a conch shell which Piggy tells him will make a loud noise When Ralph blows the conch several children make their way to Ralph and Piggy There were several small children around six years old and a party of boys marching in step dressed in eccentric clothing black cloaks and black caps One of the boys Jack Merridew leads the group which he addresses as his choir Piggy suggests that everyone state their names and Jack insists on being called Merridew for Jack is a kids name Jack a tall thin boy with an ugly freckled complexion and flaming red hair insists that he be the leader because hes the head boy of his choir They decide to vote for chief although Jack seems the most obvious leader and Piggy the most obviously intelligent Ralph has a sense of stillness and gravity He is elected chief but concedes that Jack can lead his choir who will be hunters Ralph decides that everyone should stay there while three boys will find out whether they are on an island Ralph chooses one
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