Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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In Lord of the Flies, who is responsible for keeping the fire going?

In Lord of the Flies, Jack and his hunters are in charge of maintaining the signal fire. However, Jack dismisses his hunters of their duties in favor of hunting pigs, and the signal fire goes out. Samneric then abandon their post after seeing the "beast," and Ralph and Piggy assume responsibility. Unfortunately, they cannot maintain a signal fire on the beach because there is less dry wood to feed the fire, and most of the boys have joined Jack's tribe.

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Initially, Jack and his hunters are in charge of maintaining the signal fire. In chapter 2, the group of boys rushes to the top of the mountain after Ralph announces that they will need to make a signal fire to gain the attention of passing ships. Once they reach the top of the mountain, Ralph uses Piggy's glasses to start a fire, which blazes out of control and burns the surrounding forest. After Maurice suggests that they put green leaves on the fire to make smoke, Ralph says that they should have special people dedicated to maintaining the signal fire throughout the day and night. Jack then takes the conch and offers to split his hunters into groups to maintain the signal fire.

Unfortunately, Jack does not view the signal fire as a necessity or concern and quickly dismisses his hunters from maintaining the fire in favor of hunting. In chapter 4, the hunters leave their station at the top of the mountain to hunt with Jack, and the signal fire goes out. Tragically, the boys miss a rare...

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kath555554444 | Student

In Lord of the Flies, basically every one of the boys are responsible for keeping the fire going. Obviously they all want to go home (well, in the beginning of the story ) and need to go home, so there were some volunteers and some recruited, both by Jack and Ralph. 

eli468 | Student

Jack volunteers to keep the fire going and has his group/tribe also help to maintain it. As their priorities start to change the group is renamed to the hunters. Sadly enough they eventually fail at their task of keeping the fire burning and the fire becomes neglected and goes out.