Olivia Bracci ENG3U1 26 October 2016 The Reoccurrence of Irony in Lord of the Flies Irony, the expression of meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect. Irony is something that is common in many past and present works of literature, one example being Lord of the Flies by William Golding. This novel takes place on a deserted island with a group of boys ranging in ages from three to twelve years old. They unsuccessfully attempt to uphold democracy and civilization, before reverting to their savage instincts. The novel ends with the island going up in flames during a war between Jack ' s tribe and Ralph, and the boys being saved by a naval officer who is involved in a war of his own. Irony is evident throughout the novel and is predominantly shown through the symbol of fire, the characters, and the theme of civilization. Golding shows irony through the reoccurring symbol of the fire in Lord of the Flies which can be perceived as ironic from many different perspectives. First, the fire at the beginning of the novel is ironic because it is meant to comfort and benefit the boys however, it kills one of them as well as destroys part of the island. Something that is meant to be comforting to them ends up as, " a tree exploded in the fire like a bomb. Tall swathes of creepers rose for a moment into view, agonized, and went down again " (Golding 47) which results in greater fear and chaos than there was to begin with. The boys are initially excited to start the fire and see it as an amusing task, but once it becomes out of control it causes panic and distress which is the opposite of its intended purpose. It also unintentionally kills the boy with the mulberry birthmark. Another instance in which the fire can be perceived as ironic is with respect to Jack ' s priority never to tend to a signal fire for the sake of rescue, but rather for hunting. The fire however, that Jack sets for the sake of hunting Ralph ends up serving as the signal fire that attracts a ship which rescues them all. Jack ' s disinterest towards the fire over hunting is obvious when he is arguing with Ralph about the first time he lets it burn out because he is too busy hunting. He counters " we needed meat " and Ralph challenges " You didn ' t ought to have let that fire out. You said you'd keep the smoke going " (Golding 75). Jack ' s priorities lie with meat and hunting. The fire is obviously of little importance to him. Jack never puts the fire above hunting, and does not view it as a priority despite the possibility of it leading to their rescue. Furthermore, when he sets the fire that is meant to " smoke out " Ralph, he ends up saving Ralph as well as all of the other boys because the fire attracts a ship. Finally, from the beginning of the novel and onwards it becomes clear that the fire is the most important thing to Ralph. At the end of the novel, the fire is what nearly kills him. His desperation and the emphasis he puts on the upkeep of the fire is evident when he refers to the fire as " the most important thing on the island …" and states "… we ought to die before we let the fire out " (Golding 31). Ralph believes that the fire is crucial to their rescue and while that holds true, it can be viewed as ironic when he states that they ‘ ought to die before they let the fire out ' which he nearly does. The fire can be therefore be perceived as an ironic symbol through; the fire at the beginning of the novel, Jack ' s feelings towards the rescue fire and the importance Ralph places on the fire. Another way in which Golding displays irony is through the characters. Simon is the most Christ-like and pure of all the boys yet he is killed trying