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

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter Two of Lord of the Flies, Ralph, along with Piggy, attempts to organize the boys by calling a meeting in which Ralph explains that because no one knows where their plane that was shot down has landed, they may be on the island for some time. In his attempt to add something on a positive note, Ralph declares,

"This is a good island...While we're waiting we can have a good time on this island....Until the grownup come to fetch us we'll have fun." 

As he continues to direct the others, Ralph suggests that they help the adults to locate them by building a fire so that a ship that comes near will realize that people are on this island. So, the boys seek wood in the forest area; on the steeper side, they find some decayed wood. After piling the wood, the boys are faced with the dilemma of how to light the fire; Jack first suggests rubbing sticks together, Roger says, "You make a bow and spin the arrow"; then Jack spots Piggy's glasses and cries, "...use them as burning glasses!"

After their trials and errors of not burning green leaves and wood instead, Ralph declares that special people must look after the fire. Jack volunteers,

"I agree with Ralph. We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages. We're English, and the English are best at everything. So we've got to do the right things."

A: Jack then offers to split his choir-now turned into hunters--and have them be responsible for maintaining the fire at all times.

This offer and Jack's declaration of the superiority of the English are ironic as in later chapters the fire goes out when the hunters become more absorbed in other actions as they regress to savagery and they fail "to do the right things" as they steal the fire and commit acts against humanity.

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.

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Lord of the Flies

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