Why do the boys decide to make a fire in chapter two of The Lord of the Flies?

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The boys are meeting together and among other things they discuss the fact that they are alone and that it will be hard for anyone to rescue them. Because it is an island and no one knows where they are, they are worried. Their worries are only intensified when the boy with the mulberry colored birthmark suggests that he saw some kind of snake-like beastie thing in the night that will carry them off and kill them.

They discuss how they will get organized to hunt for meat and then Ralph suggests that they ought to light a big fire in order to have a signal for any nearby ships to find them. The boys are very excited about this and rush off to build a huge fire atop the mountain. Ralph wants to be sure that they will keep the fire going at all times in order to maintain a signal but their big fire burns too hot and doesn't produce smoke so they discuss using greener wood in the future to produce more smoke.

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