Theme Of Fire In Lord Of The Flies

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Humans kill, whether it be animals, insects or people. The justice system is used to try and fix what others have done and in this way they are punished. They are punished in a functioning society with rules and laws, but when all that is stripped away we are left with mass destruction and humans that kill. The novel Lord of the Flies, published in 1954 and written by Nobel Prize winning author, William Golding, portrays the violence and eradication of a functioning society through young boys stranded on an island. Golding uses the symbol fire and forgetfulness of the need for it to develop the theme of the loss of society and creation of uncivilized destruction. Ralph as chief in the beginning of Lord of the Flies uses fire to fuel his main…show more content…
Ralph uses the fire as a safety net that keeps him comfortable and with the hope of getting home. He says, “‘And we’ll be responsible for keeping a lookout too. If we see a ship out there...we’ll put green branches on. Then there’ll be more smoke” (Golding 43). Ralph emphasizes the need for the smoke as he sees this as one of the only ways that they will ever be rescued. Ralph is still full of hope for life and escaping. This fire will keep them safe and this fire will rescue him and all of the others. As chief, he wants others to have the same hope about being saved that he does which is why he is pushing the fire symbol. Even with all the hope and safety Ralph instills on the fire, it turns out to be one of many tragedies in Lord of the Flies. After the idea of the fire came about, the actual enforcing and creating of their safety net was not as planned as it needed to be. “Smoke was rising here and there. As they watched, a flash of fire appeared at the root of one wisp, and…show more content…
Ralph follows the lead of the hunters and makes his decisions based more on the savage instinct humans hold than what we had seen in the beginning of the novel. Golding uses Ralph as an example of the loss of civilization as Ralph is seen to be losing his sense of society through his forgetfulness of the fire. Ralph had lingered on what the fire was being used for when trying to make a point, “‘The smoke’s a signal and we can’t be rescued if we don’t have smoke.’ ‘I knew that!’ shouted Ralph. Piggy nodded propitiatingly” (Golding 174). Piggy is trying to satisfy and calm Ralph since he is able to see that Ralph is losing his leadership skills. Fear is setting into Ralph because he is neglecting the fire and is beginning to accept the island as somewhere he will stay. Through Ralph the pull and instinct to lean into destruction becomes more noticeable in the story. The final scene is the biggest tell of how far humans, even at a young age, can go. The hunters turned against Ralph and immediately their savage instinct took over. Golding describes the scene, “He blundered into the open, found himself again in that open space...no longer ridiculing a deep blue patch of sky but jeering up into a blanket of smoke,” this is foreshadowing what Golding later states
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