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The rash act of throwing together a fire without thought of consequences is symbolic for what is to come later in the novel. The fire caught on quickly, and took a boys life. This will be the case with the savagery that overtakes the boys later in the novel. There is no thought for consequences in that case, either.
Fire is symbolic in the novel. Fire is generally a symbol of civilization, but the boys, twice, let fire get out of control. The first time the fire gets out of control it is purely unintentional - they have set a signal fire. The second time the fire gets away from them, they have started it to smoke out Ralph. The boys go from using fire as a form of civility to using it as a form of savagery.
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