The change in the presence of food throughout the novel demonstrates the demise of civilization and order on the island. When the guests first come to the island they have an elaborate meal prepared by Mrs. Rogers that is served by Mr. Rogers. Even after Anthony Marston and Mrs. Rogers die, much of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the presentation of food and drink remains: the guests are served cocktails, and even after Mr. Rogers dies, Miss Brent and Vera still make tea for the men. The persistence of these food rituals shows how important and ingrained they are for these characters. And when the rituals do break down – the guests start eating tongue and fruit out of cans, and eventually Vera and Lombard wont even return to the house to get any food – it's clear that all law, order, and civilization has broken down in the dwindling community on Soldier's Island.