Saturday, 31 October 2015

Lord of the Flies                                                                       William Golding

The part played by fire in the novel 

Fire plays an important part in the novel Lord of the Flies.  Ralph was chosen as the chief of the boys.  He suggested that they should light a fire on the top of the mountain and raise a smoke so that ships passing by could see it and come to the coral island.  Thus all the marooned boys would be rescued. Ralph knew that this was the only way they could escape from the lonely island to England.  He also wanted that some of the boys should be in charge of the fire to keep it burning.  All the boys agreed to Ralph’s suggestion and they were very interested in collecting firewood and dried leaves and made a pile of it. Jack, the leader of the Choir used Piggy’s spectacles and focused the sunrays to the dry leaves and wood.  Thus they made fire.  But the fire spread to a part of the forest and destroyed many fruit trees and a lot of firewood. When the fire subsided, the boy with the mulberry mark was not seen. The boy might have been killed in fire. Jack and the hunters agreed to supervise the fire day and night.

2.  But Jack and his group of boys were more interested in hunting pigs on the island than supervising the fire.  So he took all the boys including the twins Sam and Eric for the hunt.  On that day Sam and Eric had the duty of supervising the fire.  It was at this time Ralph saw a ship passing and he looked at the mountain if the fire was burning and the smoke was coming up.  He was disappointed because there was no smoke coming. He ran to the top of the mountain and found that the fire had died out long ago. There was no one supervising.  Ralph learned that because of their negligence, they lost a golden opportunity to escape from the coral island. Ralph was angry with Jack for this negligence.  They quarreled for some time. Finally Jack admitted his mistake and apologized to Ralph. But Jack had no sincerity in his apology.  Jack wanted to become the Chief. He hated Ralph.  Thus fire created the first feeling of hatred and rivalry between Ralph and Jack. Piggy also blamed Jack for his negligence of duty. Jack was furious and beat Piggy and broke his spectacles. The spectacles fell on the rock and broke to pieces.

3.  The fire was started again with the broken spectacles of Piggy.  The twins Sam and Eric were put on duty during the night to see that the fire did not die out.  Early in the morning they went to collect logs for the fire, they saw the dead airman in a sitting pose. The broken piece of parachute was with him. The twins ran for their lives thinking that it was the beast.  Ralph and Jack went to the top to see if there was any truth in what the twins said.  They also saw the dead airman and ran down in fear and told other boys that they had seen the beast.  So no boy went up to make fire on the top of the mountain. They started another fire on the beach.

When Jack rebelled against Ralph and broke away with his group of boys, the fire became important again. Jack and others wanted fire to roast the pig’s meat. They hunted pigs. So they stole a brand from the fire kept by Ralph and Piggy. They also ran away with Piggy’s broken spectacles.  Piggy could not see anything without his spectacles.  So Ralph went to Jack to get the spectacles. Jack and Ralph quarreled for some time. Ralph called Jack “thief”. On hearing this Jack was very angry fought against Ralph. Piggy was standing there helplessly. Roger who was sitting on a huge rock above them,dropped stones on Ralph and Piggy. One huge stone fell on Piggy. The conch in his hand broke into a hundred pieces and he was killed and rolled into the sea. Thus Piggy was killed by Roger. Fire was responsible for this death.

Ralph lost his intimate friend Piggy and he was very sad. He ran away from the spot and took shelter in the forest.  Now almost all the boys were with Jack because he became stronger he gave them pig’s meat.  Jack wanted to kill Ralph.  So he set fire to that part of forest.  Soon the whole island is set on fire and it raised a huge smoke. Unable to bear the heat in the burning jungle, Ralph came out and ran towards the beach. Jack and other children followed Ralph. They wanted to kill him. Ralph fell down because he was very tired. He lost his sense for some time. When he regained his sense, he saw a British naval officer standing before him with a smile. The officer told him that the smoke of the fire attracted them and he came. He took all children to his ship.
 Fortunately a British ship was passing the sea then. The smoke attracted the attention of a British naval officer and he came to the island to enquire. Thus fire plays an important part in the novel Lord of the Flies. The fire is the first symbol of the boys’ desire to be rescued. It was fire that helped the boys to escape from the lonely coral island. 
Paragraph questions:
1.  Piggy’s death                    ---  4th paragraph.
  1. How did the marooned boys make fire on the island  ---1st paragraph
  2. Describe the circumstances under which the marooned lost a chance to be rescued?                          ---  2nd paragraph of the essay.
  3. Describe the circumstances under which the marooned boys were rescued?
                                              ---  last paragraph of the essay.

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