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William Golding's Lord of the Flies

Fire is a force of great power one of rescue versus destruction or of civilization versus savagery In William Golding's Lord of the Flies boys of unlike characters are forced to use their survival instinct on a quest to stay alive on a small uninhabited island The use of symbolism like that of the signal fire constantly reminds the reader of the sharp contrast between the hope of rescue and the possibility of total destruction This symbolism plays a significant role in the main idea characterization and the plot of the novel This happens along with its versatile ability to represent conflicting ideas and a common goal all in a simple signal fire on top of a mountain Throughout much of literary history fire has come to represent knowledge and destruction Author William Golding repeatedly uses this as a symbol for the boys rescue but also their chances of destruction Starting the novel the protagonist Ralph is intent on keeping a signal fire going at the top of the mountain in hopes of the boys rescue This fire is their link to civilization and their hopes of rescue only remain alive while the signal fire continues to burn and produce smoke Ralph tells the other boys that if a ship comes near the island they may not notice us So we must make smoke on top of the mountain We must make a fire Golding 38 suggesting that he values rescue and civilization over all else on the island Immediately after Ralph s bright idea of starting a signal fire for rescue the boys watch in horror as it spreads throughout much of the forest burning down tree after tree on the island and killing a littlun Piggy later questions their responsibility by asking the group How can you expect to be rescued if you don't put first things first and act proper 45

2 pages | 624 words

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