Animals Can’t Make Fires

The reality of their dire situation presents itself with the coming of night, when savagery and their tribal nature are fully embraced, law and order will cease to exist. The conch represents the civilization on the island and if it is not obeyed, Ralph will no longer be followed and Jack will take over. If the “dense black mass” (92) doesn’t answer the call, it will symbolize that order has lost its grip on the boys. As they sever this tie to society, the laws of their old civilization will disappear leaving only animals behind. As animals the fire will go out and they will “never be rescued” (92). It seems that this reverting back to primitive ways is inevitable, but if the conch is not answered now the collapse will be immediate. The incessant chanting “Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Dash her in.”(75) gives the boys a rhythm to their madness. This rhythm bolsters the sense that the savagery and madness is imminent. As Ralph feels this sense, he begins to think that he “ought to give up being chief” (93) which would be a complete surrender to Jack. If law and order are lost and savagery is succumbed to, they will never get off the island and will be forced to live like animals forever.

Ch 5: "Beast from Water" & Ch 6: "Beast from Air" small group mini-essay paragraph writing challenge (in lieu of the typical in-class essay):

Link: original quotations and assignment

Links to the specific student responses