Significance of fire in Lord of the Flies

Question: What is the significance of fire in Lord of the Flies?


In William Golding’s (1911- 1993) novel “Lord of the Flies” (1954) fire plays an important role throughout the novel. Golding has presented the real form of that time through fire. The significance of fire in this novel is explained below:

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Rescue from the island

In the novel “Lord of the Flies”, when a group of boys got lost on an island, they built a fire in order to be rescued. In order to make a fire, they gather a pile of dry and rotten wood. They are successful in lighting up the fire so the fire can attract any passing ships or planes. Fire is a symbol of hope that the boys will return to civilization. They have the desire to be rescued.

“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.”

Fire provides food

On an island, fire is one of the ways to make food. Jack uses fire for roasting the meat of pigs, hunted by him. Thus firework in the novel in terms of making food.

Fire is a source of comfort

In this novel, the fire has played the role of joy. It is a symbol of comfort to some of the boys. When piggy lights a fire, the twins feel happy because they would now have a fire near them all night as a comfort. A few of the little boys begin to dance and clap hands at the prospect of having a fire close to them at night.

The destructive and savage side of the fire

Another important side of the fire is a force of destruction. This fire destroys the fruit trees and the shelters, built by the boys.

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We can say that fire is a symbol of hope, power, and destruction. Fire shows human nature how quickly they can embrace a different lifestyle.

S Ridoy Kumar
S Ridoy Kumar
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