The Fire

In the novel “Lord of the Flies,” by William Golding, he gives examples of the different way in which rituals can become a daily part of life. In the book, a group of boys endure but survive a plane crash, which causes them to be trapped on an island. As they are on the island they realize they need to figure out a way to survive, and upon this, they learn many new things, that which include rituals. The boys also set rules so they can stay civilized. Some rituals are followed in the real world. A ritual the boys followed was the use of fire. In the book, a fire did have a big impact on the boys.  Fire is an important part of rituals whether or not it is used in rituals or for survival.

In the novel, one of the boys, Ralph, came up with an idea for survival. Ralph insisted to make a signal fire. They chose to use fire as a signal so the boys can be rescued. In order to start the fire, they use Piggy’s glasses. "'The fire is the most important thing on the island. How can we ever be rescued except by luck, if we don't keep a fire going? Is a fire too much for us to make? Look at us! How many are we? And yet we can't keep a fire going to make smoke. Don't you understand? Can't you see we ought to-- ought to die before we let the fire out?'"(Pg 80-81) The reader can clearly understand how important the signal fire was. The fire represents their stability and connection with their humanity. In order to stay civilized, the group of boys had to keep the fire going because it was the only hope to be saved. In this quote, Ralph who is speaking says that they ought to die before they let the fire go out. By this, he is showing how important the signal fire is, too. Not only they used it as a signal, the fire was used for survival. The fire provided them with many things while they were stuck on the island.

In the book, fire is also used as destruction. Ralph stabbed a little boy and ran away. He decided to hide again. As he lies in his hiding spot Ralph realizes that the fire set to smoke him out. The boys germinated a smart plan to contact other civilization by the smoke that aroused from the fire on the island. According to the novel, Golding states, “They had smoked him out and set the island on fire.”(197) From this quote, the reader can understand that the fire caused a wildfire. It was a huge destruction. One of the boys Jack has set the whole jungle on fire. The fire controlled a signal because of the smoke and a ship lured to the island. The boys in this scene used the fire as a resource for survival.

According to the Mahavidya article in the religion of Hinduism fire is both the creator and destroyer of life. The fire has a huge a significance to the religion Hinduism and Zoroastrian. In the religion, Hinduism fire is used on many occasions. Fire is used during funerals, weddings, and praying. In the article, the religion Zoroastrian fire is known as the light of God. As you can see the significance of fire. In the novel fire is used as protection, like in these religions. The fire was helped for protection in the book because it helped them so they can be saved. Another connection to the novel and in these religions fire is providing light. Fire is a signal of life or death in the religion of Hinduism. In the novel, the boys used fire as survival. Also, it caused destruction which leads to death. Fire supplied for both Hindus and the boys in the novel.    

In conclusion, the ritual fire has a huge significance. It’s apart of rituals. Fire is very important to both the boys in the book and in real life. Fire is important because the boys used it to be saved. The fire has used a signal and it represents civilization. In many societies and tribals, fire is a significant spiritual enlightenment. Not only is fire used as a symbolic statement, it is a crucial resource for surviving for humans.


Works Cited:

Golding, William.  Lord of the Flies New York: Penguin, 2006.

Mahavidya. 2018

BBC. Religions - Zoroastrian: Worship BBC: October 02, 2009.

Comments (3)

Kennedy Fields (Student 2020)
Kennedy Fields

I like how the essay explains fire in a religious aspect in this essay. I learned that Hindi's use it as the so called "light of God". I also know that many others use this in other religions to represent the same thing. I think this behavior can't be fixed because it's tradition and also a way to better or survival.

Monie Duong (Student 2020)
Monie Duong

I have learned that humans can smartly use and also take advantage of the things that they have. I also learned that humans tend to become obsessive over things when they are put in extreme environments or situations. I feel like if they boys just stuck together, they wouldn't have gone so crazy over the fire.

Helayna Hoffman (Student 2020)
Helayna Hoffman

I learned about the human behavior to survive and the fact that fire can be used to the two extremes of life and death. I think this behavior is actually a good quality to have because although it may be destructive at times, but it helps us survive.