20 Lord of the Flies Fire Quotes With Page Numbers

In Lord of the Flies, fire represents hope, civilization, and destruction.

Fire represents hope, as Ralph wants to use fire as a rescuing signal.

For Jack and the hunters, fire is a tool for abuse, leading to a lost paradise.

In this post, we explore how fire embodies the spectrum of human potential.

Fire’s duality becomes a mirror reflecting the boys’ journey from order to chaos, emphasizing Golding’s grim commentary on human nature.

Lord of the Flies Quotes With Page Numbers

Lord of the Flies Fire Quotes

“Ralph waved the conch.

“Shut up! Wait! Listen!”

He went on in the silence, borne on in his triumph.

“There’s another thing. We can help them to find us. If a ship comes near the island they may not notice us. So we must make smoke on top of the mountain. We must make a fire.”

“A fire! Make a fire!”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Character: Ralph), Chapter 2, Page 38

Ralph Lord of the Flies Quotes


“Will you light the fire?”

Now the absurd situation was open, Jack blushed too. He began to mutter vaguely.

“You rub two sticks. You rub―”

He glanced at Ralph, who blurted out the last confession of incompetence.

“Has anyone got any matches?”

“You make a bow and spin the arrow,” said Roger. He rubbed his hands in mime. “Psss. Psss.”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Characters: Ralph and Roger), Chapter 2, Page 40


“Ralph shouted.

“More wood! All of you get more wood!”

Life became a race with the fire and the boys scattered through the upper forest. To keep a clean flag of flame flying on the mountain was the immediate end and no one looked further. Even the smallest boys, unless fruit claimed them, brought little pieces of wood and threw them in. The air moved a little faster and became a light wind, so that leeward and windward side were clearly differentiated. On one side the air was cool, but on the other the fire thrust out a savage arm of heat that crinkled hair on the instant. Boys who felt the evening wind on their damp faces paused to enjoy the freshness of it and then found they were exhausted. They flung themselves down in the shadows that lay among the shattered rocks. The beard of flame diminished quickly; then the pile fell inwards with a soft, cindery sound, and sent a great tree of sparks upwards that leaned away and drifted downwind. The boys lay, panting like dogs.

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Characters: Ralph and the Narrator about fire), Chapter 2, Page 41

Important Lord of the Flies Quotes


“We haven’t made a fire,” he said, “what’s any use. We couldn’t keep a fire like that going, not if we tried.”

“A fat lot you tried,” said Jack contemptuously. “You just sat.”

“We used his specs,” said Simon, smearing a black cheek with his forearm. “He helped that way.”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Characters: Piggy, Jack, and Simon), Chapter 2, Page 42

Simon Lord of the Flies Quotes


“We’ve got to have special people for looking after the fire. Any day there may be a ship out there”―he waved his arm at the taut wire of the horizon―”and if we have a signal going they’ll come and take us off. And another thing. We ought to have more rules. Where the conch is, that’s a meeting. The same up here as down there.”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Character: Piggy), Chapter 2, Page 42

Lord of the Flies Conch Quotes


“Ralph, I’ll split up the choir―my hunters, that is―into groups, and we’ll be responsible for keeping the fire going―”

This generosity brought a spatter of applause from the boys, so that Jack grinned at them, then waved the conch for silence.

“We’ll let the fire burn out now. Who would see smoke at night-time, anyway? And we can start the fire again whenever we like. Altos, you can keep the fire going this week, and trebles the next―”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Characters: Piggy and Jack), Chapter 2, Pages 42, 43


“You got your small fire all right.”

Smoke was rising here and there among the creepers that festooned the dead or dying trees. As they watched, a flash of fire appeared at the root of one wisp, and then the smoke thickened. Small flames stirred at the trunk of a tree and crawled away through leaves and brushwood, dividing and increasing. One patch touched a tree trunk and scrambled up like a bright squirrel. The smoke increased, sifted, rolled outwards. The squirrel leapt on the wings of the wind and clung to another standing tree, eating downwards. Beneath the dark canopy of leaves and smoke the fire laid hold on the forest and began to gnaw. Acres of black and yellow smoke rolled steadily toward the sea. At the sight of the flames and the irresistible course of the fire, the boys broke into shrill, excited cheering. The flames, as though they were a kind of wild life, crept as a jaguar creeps on its belly toward a line of birch-like saplings that fledged an outcrop of the pink rock. They flapped at the first of the trees, and the branches grew a brief foliage of fire. The heart of flame leapt nimbly across the gap between the trees and then went swinging and flaring along the whole row of them. Beneath the capering boys a quarter of a mile square of forest was savage with smoke and flame. The separate noises of the fire merged into a drum-roll that seemed to shake the mountain.

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Characters: Piggy and the Narrator), Chapter 2, Page 44


“I got the conch! Just you listen! The first thing we ought to have made was shelters down there by the beach. It wasn’t half cold down there in the night. But the first time Ralph says ‘fire’ you goes howling and screaming up this here mountain. Like a pack of kids!”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Character: Piggy), Chapter 2, Page 45


“So long as your hunters remember the fire―”

“You and your fire!”

The two boys trotted down the beach, and, turning at the water’s edge, looked back at the pink mountain. The trickle of smoke sketched a chalky line up the solid blue of the sky, wavered high up and faded. Ralph frowned.

“I wonder how far off you could see that.”


“We don’t make enough smoke.”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Character: Jack), Chapter 3, Page 53


“Piggy’s specs!” shouted Ralph. “If the fire’s all out, we’ll need them―” He stopped shouting and swayed on his feet. Piggy was only just visible, bumbling up from the beach. Ralph looked at the horizon, then up to the mountain. Was it better to fetch Piggy’s glasses, or would the ship have gone? Or if they climbed on, supposing the fire was all out, and they had to watch Piggy crawling nearer and the ship sinking under the horizon?

Balanced on a high peak of need, agonized by indecision, Ralph cried out:

“Oh God, oh God!”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Characters: Piggy and Ralph), Chapter 4, Page 67


“The fire was dead. They saw that straight away; saw what they had really known down on the beach when the smoke of home had beckoned. The fire was out, smokeless and dead; the watchers were gone. A pile of unused fuel lay ready.

Ralph turned to the sea. The horizon stretched, impersonal once more, barren of all but the faintest trace of smoke. Ralph ran stumbling along the rocks, saved himself on the edge of the pink cliff, and screamed at the ship.

“Come back! Come back!”

He ran backwards and forwards along the cliff, his face always to the sea, and his voice rose insanely.

“Come back! Come back!”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Characters: The Narrator and Ralph), Chapter 4, Page 67, 68


“Simon and Maurice arrived. Ralph looked at them with unwinking eyes.

Simon turned away, smearing the water from his cheeks. Ralph reached inside himself for the worst word he knew.

“They let the bloody fire go out.”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Characters: The Narrator and Ralph), Chapter 4, Page 68


“You let the fire go out.”

This repetition made Jack uneasy. He looked at the twins and then back at Ralph.

“We had to have them in the hunt,” he said, “or there wouldn’t have been enough for a ring.”

He flushed, conscious of a fault.

“The fire’s only been out an hour or two. We can light up again―”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Characters: Ralph and Jack), Chapter 4, Page 70

Jack Lord of the Flies Quotes


“There was aship.”

Jack, faced at once with too many awful implications, ducked away from them. He laid a hand on the pig and drew his knife. Ralph brought his arm down, fist clenched, and his voice shook.

“There was a ship. Out there. You said you’d keep the fire going and you let it out!” He took a step toward Jack, who turned and faced him.

“They might have seen us. We might have gone home―”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Characters: Ralph and the Narrator about Jack), Chapter 4, Page 70


“I was chief, and you were going to do what I said. You talk. But you can’t even build huts―then you go off hunting and let out the fire―”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Character: Ralph), Chapter 4, Pages 70, 71


“Yet Ralph’s throat refused to pass one. He resented, as an addition to Jack’s misbehavior, this verbal trick. The fire was dead, the ship was gone.

Could they not see? Anger instead of decency passed his throat.”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Character: The Narrator about Ralph), Chapter 4, Page 73


“If I blow the conch and they don’t come back; then we’ve had it. We shan’t keep the fire going. We’ll be like animals. We’ll never be rescued.”

“If you don’t blow, we’ll soon be animals anyway.”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Characters: Ralph and Piggy), Chapter 5, Page 92

Piggy Lord of the Flies Quotes


“The wood was not so dry as the fuel they had used on the mountain. Much of it was damply rotten and full of insects that scurried; logs had to be lifted from the soil with care or they crumbled into sodden powder.”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (The Narrator about fire), Chapter 8, Page 130


“How can we make a fire?”

Jack squatted back and frowned at the pig.

“We’ll raid them and take fire. There must be four of you; Henry and you, Robert and Maurice. We’ll put on paint and sneak up; Roger can snatch a branch while I say what I want. The rest of you can get this back to where we were. We’ll build the fire there. And after that―”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Characters: Roger and Jack), Chapter 8, Page 136

Roger Lord of the Flies Quotes


“But nobody else understands about the fire. If someone threw you a rope when you were drowning. If a doctor said take this because if you don’t take you’ll die – you would, wouldn’t you?”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Character: Ralph), Chapter 8, Page 139


“Suddenly he blundered into the open, found himself again in that open space—and there was the fathom-wide grin of the skull, no longer ridiculing a deep blue patch of sky but jeering up into a blanket of smoke. Then Ralph was running beneath trees, with the grumble of the forest explained. They had smoked him out and set the island on fire.”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Character: The Narrator about the fire), Chapter 12, Page 197


“The fire was a big one and the drum-roll that he had thought was left so far behind was nearer. Couldn’t a fire outrun a galloping horse? He could see the sun-splashed ground over an area of perhaps fifty yards from where he lay, and as he watched, the sunlight in every patch blinked at him. This was so like the curtain that flapped in his brain that for a moment he thought the blinking was inside him. But then the patches blinked more rapidly, dulled and went out, so that he saw that a great heaviness of smoke lay between the island and the sun.”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Character: The Narrator about the fire), Chapter 12, Page 197-98


“The fire reached the coconut palms by the beach and swallowed them noisily. A flame, seemingly detached, swung like an acrobat and licked up the palm heads on the platform. The sky was black.”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Character: The Narrator about the fire), Chapter 12, Pages 200-01


“His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.”

~William Golding, Lord of the Flies, (Characters: The Narrator about Ralph and Piggy), Chapter 12, Page 202

A picture of a fire burning on a beach at night, with the text overlay: "Lord of the Flies Fire Quotes With Page Numbers"


Lord of the Flies Fire Theme 

In William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies, fire is a significant symbol that progresses the storyline and embodies various themes.

The fire represents hope for the boys’ rescue and connection to civilization. This is evident when Ralph, the protagonist, emphasizes the need to “make smoke on top of the mountain” so passing ships would notice them, reflecting the boys’ shared aim of rescue.

However, their inability to delegate responsibilities and effectively maintain the fire underscores their disintegrating discipline and civil behavior.

For instance, when the boys fail to keep the fire going, their feelings of disappointment and failure are articulated, highlighting their declining hope and growing cynicism about their survival.

Furthermore, the fire also signifies destruction and power, where its uncontrollable nature mirrors the boys’ descent into savagery.

Its ferocity to consume the forest indicates the rampant chaos and fear that drive the characters towards their primitive instincts.

Hence, the fire’s multiplicity of symbolism underscores the novel’s overarching themes, including civilization versus savagery and the thin veneer masking human’s innate brutality.

Lord of the Flies Characters


What does the fire symbolize in Lord of the Flies?

In “The Lord of the Flies,” the fire symbolizes the boys’ connection to civilization and their hope of rescue as a measure of their survival instincts and societal order.

Initially, the fire is strong and brave, embodying their attempts to build and maintain a societal structure reminiscent of the adult world they came from.

As the story progresses, the importance of the fire wanes, reflecting their descent into primal savagery until it ultimately envelopes the whole island, symbolizing the hostile and unpredictable potential for limitless violence they have become.


Who let the fire burn out in Lord of the Flies?

In William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies, the hunters, under the leadership of Jack, let the fire burn out while they were out hunting.

This pivotal moment represents the loss of control and order, as they neglected their responsibility of watching the fire to signal potential rescuers.

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