Questions MY teacher gaver us journals to write. This first one asks us to compare the reactions of the littluns and older boys to the building of the fire. Can anybody sum that up in a page?

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Fire has long been symbolic of life, power, and civilization.  When the boys get the fire started, they stand in awe and wonder.  However, fire is also a destructive force, and the boys' fire, "the flames, as though they were a kind of wild life, crept as a jaguar creeps on its belly"  becomes too large for the boys to control.  Piggy recriminates, "You said you wanted a small fire and you been and built a pile like a hayrick." As Golding writes that the forest "was savge with smoke and flame," there is foreshadowing of the releases of other savage forces within the boys which will also be destructive.

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The littleuns will do what the older ones will do. They will follow whoever is strongest at the time. They do not stop to consider whether or not the action is going to benefit them. They'd start a fire because others started a fire. It doesn't matter whether they think fire is a good idea or not.
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The answer to this question needs to focus on the way in which the littluns are presented as pawns to the stronger characters of the novel. Because of their age and lack of experience, they form a group, as their name suggests, that craves leadership and guidance. They will give their loyalty to the individual that is most powerful and charismatic. The building of the fire gives us an excellent example of this process in action.

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Jack's response is impulsive, thoughtless and irresponsible - he goes charging off up the mountain to set a fire that is far too big. The fire quickly becomes uncontrollable and Piggy's response is totally the opposite as he is more mature. Piggy can see the dangers and is afraid that the fire could have killed the younger children. However, in the absence of any parental guidance it soon becomes obvious that the youngest children will be drawn to the most dominant presence on the island, against their own fears and wishes.

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