In Chapter 8 of Lord of the Flies Piggy is the one that lights the fire. Why is this significant?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This event is significant because it signifies a growing acceptance of Piggy amongst the boys and a recognition of how his skills, in particular his intelligence, is useful and a valued contribution to them all. In this chapter, after Jack has left the boys in a fit of rage at not being selected to be the leader, Ralph appears to be rather shocked and needs the support and intelligence of Piggy to keep focussed. Piggy reminds him of the priority of starting a new fire, and voices the idea of moving it to the beach. The text tells us that "Only Piggy would have the intellectual daring to suggest moving the fire from the mountain." Once the fire is built, note what the text tells us about Piggy lighting it:

For the first time on the island, Piggy himself removed his one glass, knelt down and focused the sun on tinder. Soon there was a ceiling of smoke and a bush of yellow flame.

Now that Jack has chosen to remove himself from the group of boys, Piggy seems to have risen in importance, and this action of his in lighting the fire for the first time signifies this.

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