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Id, Ego and Super-Ego As it relates to “The Lord of the Flies” Essay

Many people have different types of personalities. The characters from the story The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, have 3 different parts of personality of the brain. According to Freud these are the three parts Id, Ego and the Super-Ego. Freud’s personality theory really shows in The Lord of the Flies.

In the story Jack would be described as the Id. According to Sigmund Freud, Id is the part of your personality you are born with that you have to control. These aspects of personality are entirely unconscious and make you have a bad behavior if you don’t get what you desire, want or need. Jack had a problem following the rules and controlling his behavior about working together to get rescued with the other kids. He killed people, not caring about the consequences. He felt like he could do anything he wanted, Id people don’t care about following rules; that’s the last thing they care about.

On the other hand, Super-ego is very different from Id. People who are ruled by Super-Ego follow the rules and even make them. They sense what’s right and wrong. In The Lord of the Flies the Super-Ego was Piggy. He would take everything very seriously when it would come time to make plans. For example he said, “How can you expect to be rescued if you don’t put first things first and act proper?” (p 45). It shows us how much he wants order in the group and for everybody to act maturely. Super-Ego also operates in accordance with social conformity and appropriateness. The super-ego, its role of moral authoritarian, is the opposite of the Id.

The other main character from the Lord of the Flies was Ralph. He’s the one known as the leader. He cared, showed kindness and also was very intelligent. The personality represented by Ralph is the Ego. The role of the Ego is to sift through what is real and what isn’t. They make decisions by their thoughts, theyfollow what makes sense to them and how they relate it to the world we live in. Ralph demonstrates common sense and reality, which is one of the things Ego has. Ralph was very realistic about being rescued when everybody was saying that nobody would find them. He also wanted to have fun; an example of how the Ego balances the Id and Super-Ego is showed Ralph is figuring out what to do, “…This is what I thought. We want to have fun. And we want to be rescued.” (p 37).

William Golding really shows us how human nature could be. He illustrates how truly destructive humans can be. Golding makes very good use of characters in The Lord of the Flies, he shows both good and evil through each of the characters. He saw how destructive humans can be, and how normal people transform from a civilized human being into a savage in a quick second. The ending tells us that people don’t really imagine what other people can do. The military officer made a joke that it was ironic of what’s happening on the island, “We saw your smoke. What you been doing? Having a war or something?” (p 201). It’s ironic how the military officer said something that was exactly what was happening…he would have never thought some little kids would do something like that. The Lord of the Flies is a picture of the society in which we live today. It is a novel, which explains some of the issues like violence and many other things that are happening in the world.

It is much easier to side with evil but very challenging to support humans and what we know is right. Society keeps everybody civilized and we need rules and principles to live by.The Id, Ego and Super-Ego are why we are different from each other, it explains why we think and behave differently. Freud knew all parts of personality must exist together in balance for a person or a society to stay healthy, live happily and safely.


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