Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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How do the boys start the fire in Lord of the Flies?

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As the boys' first day on the island draws to a close, Ralph holds a second meeting to report on the findings of the boys who went exploring. He then suggests that they can help themselves get rescued by making a signal fire. The boys go wild, and everyone works together to make a huge mound of sticks and branches for the fire. However, when it comes time to light it, Ralph sheepishly realizes he has no way to do so. He asks if anyone has a match, and some boys discuss the process of rubbing two sticks together to make sparks, but no one is quite sure how to do that.

Piggy has been the only boy not involved in the boisterous wood gathering. As he comes huffing up to the place where the other boys are, Ralph asks him if he has matches. Jack suddenly points at him, saying, "His specs--use them as burning glasses!" The boys surround Piggy, and Jack snatches the glasses off his face. Ralph uses the lenses to focus light on a rotten piece of wood. It begins to smoke, and a flame appears. The dry fuel burns quickly, and soon the flame reaches 20 feet into the air. 

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