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

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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Why weren't the boys in Lord of the Flies rescued?

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The boys are rescued in the final chapter of the novel, when a British battleship anchors off the shore of the tropical island after witnessing the entire island on fire, which was caused by Jack and his savages while they were hunting Ralph. At the beginning of the story, the boys' plane is shot out of the sky and crash lands on an uninhabited tropical island. Since the plane flew off its course and the boys landed on an uninhabited island, there is no way of being immediately rescued. However, the boys manage to build a signal fire on the top of the mountain in hopes of attracting a passing ship. Unfortunately, Jack dismisses his savages from their duties of maintaining the signal fire in order to join a hunt, and the signal fire goes out before a ship sails past the island. The boys miss a rare opportunity for rescue because the signal fire went out, and they spend the rest of the novel unsuccessfully attempting to establish a civilized society. In chapter 12, Jack and his savages are hunting Ralph, who happens to stumble onto the beach, where he sees a British naval officer. The British officer's presence is a sort of deus ex machina, and the boys are quickly rescued.

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The boys were rescued in the final chapter of the book.  The reason it took so long is, as pointed out by Piggy in the first chapter, there is a war going on.  Piggy says that no one knows where they crash landed and that there was an atom bomb dropped in the country they are from that killed many people.  There is no way for the boys to communicate with the outside world and there are no adults alive to help them in any way.  The boys range in age from about 12 down to 6 or so.  With no information given to the authorities about where the boys' plane crash landed and with the interference of the war going on and taking people's attention away from the missing plane of boys, it takes several months for the boys to finally be rescued by the English authorities.

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