Fire represents technology. Yet like the atomic bombs destroying the world around the boys' island, fire is a technology that threatens destruction if it gets out of control. Fire also symbolizes the boys' connection to human civilization: their signal fire gives them hope of rescue.
Ralph waved the conch. "Shut up! Wait! Listen!" He went on in the silence, borne on in his triumph. (Golding 30)
“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.” (Golding 38)
At times, fire acts as a light of guidance. After the fire had gone out Ralph calls an assembly to all the boys. The importance of the fire to Ralph caused him see the problems within the group and so he strictly set priorities straight.
"How can we ever be rescued except by luck, if we don't keep a fire going?" (Golding 86)
Jack leaves the fire unattended therefore it costs them their rescue as well as a lot of resources are destroyed. The kid with the birthmark on his face burns alive and is killed by fire.
Ralph runs to the beach to escape Jack. There, he encounters a British Naval officer. As he attempts to tell him what happened, he breaks down into tears. When the other boys arrive, they also begin to sob.