In Lord of the Flies what does the signal fire represent in the beginning and ending?

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The signal fire built by the boys in William Golding's novel, Lord of the Flies, represents at least two different things: First, it serves as the obvious sign of life--the smoke creates a signal for anyone searching for the boys. Secondly, it also symbolizes the boys' aim to remain civilized. The fire warms the boys when the nights are cool, and it cooks the meat and fish that they procure. Additionally, it serves as a constant reminder that the boys must remain alert, disciplined and faithful to their modern human way of life. 

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