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In chapter two of Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, Ralph conducts a meeting of all the boys on the island. They discuss many things, but what the littluns are most worried about is the beast, the imagined creatures (presumably snake-like things) about which the boys have been having nightmares. Both Ralph and Jack, the two leaders, try to dispel their fears.
Ralph's way of doing this is to talk about being rescued. He is confident they will be rescued, though he has absolutely no evidence with which to support his belief. In order for that to happen, he says:
"We can help them to find us. If a ship comes near the island they may not notice us. So we must make smoke on topof the mountain. We must make a ﬁre.”
“A ﬁre! Make a ﬁre!”
At once half the boys were on their feet. Jack clamored among them, the conch forgotten. “Come on! Follow me!”
The boys race to the top of the mountain and amass a great pile of dried sticks, branches, and even logs. It would be a prodigious fire except for one tiny detail they had all overlooked:
Ralph and Jack looked at each other while society paused about them. The shameful knowledge grew in them and they did not know how to begin confession. Ralph spoke ﬁrst, crimson in the face.
He cleared his throat and went on. “Will you light the ﬁre?”
Now the absurd situation was open, Jack blushed too. He began to
“You rub two sticks. You rub–”
He glanced at Ralph, who blurted out the last confession of incompetence. “Has anyone got any matches?”
Piggy finally arrives, panting, at the top of the mountain. Ralph immediately asks if Piggy has any matches, but it is Jack who quickly lights on the idea of starting a fire with Piggy's "specs" (glasses). The poor boy is nearly attacked but is willing to let the others start a fire with his glasses, which they do. They use them as a magnifier of the sun to create smoke and then a flame.
Unfortunately, of course, this little rescue fire becomes a conflagration which destroys not only a portion of the island but one of the little boys, as well. Every other fire on the island is started the same way: with Piggy's spectacles.
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