The message that the boys want to send is: "rescue us, we're here, we're alive, and we need help!" The boys need to signal all of this to the adult world and they intend to do this with the signal fire. Unfortunately, some boys want to be manly and hunt, some wish to play, some are serious, and others do their own thing. Ralph, Piggy, and Simon are the three most serious boys who realize that a signal fire is the way to rescue and that they have to maintain one day and night for it to be spotted and for them to be rescued. Through the course of the novel, the fire is neglected and the idea isn't followed through. The fire symbol changes from one of salvation to one of destruction and one of ecstatic warrior ritual. Ironically, it is the smoke and fire from the burning island rampant with wild little boys that saves them.