The British naval officer's arrival at the end of the novel is considered a deus ex machina, which prevents Ralph from being brutally slaughtered by Jack and his group of savages. A plausible alternative ending to the story could involve Ralph stumbling onto the beach, only to be captured by Jack and his band of savages. Similar to the purposed fate indicated by Samneric, Jack would proceed to decapitate Ralph and place his head on a stake as a sacrifice to the beast. Another plausible alternative ending could be the arrival of Ralph's father. Earlier in the story, Ralph told the other boys that his father was in the Navy and would surely find them. It would be interesting to read how Golding would reunite Ralph with his father, who would more than likely struggle to initially recognize his own son. Another alternative ending could involve the boys struggling to survive the forest fire. After Jack attempts to smoke Ralph out of his hiding spot, the entire island becomes engulfed in flames as Ralph runs through the burning forest. It is highly unlikely that the boys would be able to stop the fire, which would completely decimate the island. Without fruit or pigs to eat, the savages would turn on each other and the situation would become even more chaotic and dark.