Every great society has strived and prospered due to the laws and principles the civilization has lived by. But when a society removes these principles that are laid out what could result? In The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, as a result of a terrible war a plane crashed landed, killing the pilots and leaving a small group of boys stranded on an island leaving the boys with no ascendancy. The groups of boys do well at the start when they establish an organized method to keep an ongoing signal fire going, problems soon arise as the kids begin to lose the liberation they had once practiced.
As we scrutinize the Lord of The Flies and apply Freudians theory we can personify each of the three elements that make up his theory with the three main characters Jack, Ralph and Piggy that can also represent: the Id, the Ego and the Super Ego based on Freud’s Personality theory. The best well known psychoanalytic theory developed by Sigmund Freud, a Viennese physician, believed that the mind could be separated to three parts the Id, the Ego and the Super Ego.
The Id is what we are born with it is the pleasure principle, representing what we desire at the moment in an unconscious state of mind without releasing the reality of the circumstances. In The Lord of the Flies the Id would symbolize Jack as he wants his ambitions met without thinking about their actual situation they are in. We can see this when Jack’s only interests is to go hunt and in his arbitrary choice he tells Samneric to leave their post to help kill the pig. This results in the fire burning out. The glorified Jack than returns to gasconade to Ralph of his accomplishment he tells him, “We got in a circle… We crept up… The pig squealed” (Golding 69).
He does not realize the significance of leaving the fire unattended; as his needs are met he could not see anything wrong with his actions. Although, in reality he has blown their chance of rescue as a boat had passed by but was unaware of their presence because the signal fire had gone out while Jack had told Samneric to help him. This impact Ralphs power as chief greatly as people than begin to doubt him and the group starts to split into two, but Ralph’s group leaves him as they go and eat with Jack’s group.
Jack than gives the others a choice with his reasons being, “I gave you food and my hunters will protect you from the beast. Who will join my tribe? ”(150). Jack only wants the power of being chief to satisfy himself and he try to do so by giving everyone a sense of hospitality when with his tribe, neglecting the fact the that Ralph has better intensions for the tribe than he does. This clarifies how Jack symbolizes the Id and can over powers the Ego, Ralph and the Super Ego Piggy because of how the Id is done in an unconscious state and only wants what it desires until it is pleased.
Furthermore, Freud’s theory also consisted of the Ego which unlike the Id is aware of the reality and functions by the reality principle. The Ego can recognize on reality and is able to understand that behaviors have consequences. In the novel, Ralph takes the roll of the Ego as he is aware of the situation and organizes a plan to help try to keep the social rule that is necessary to live and survive. We see this when Ralph suggests new ideas, “‘If we have a signal going they’ll come and take us off. ’ ‘And another thing. ’ ‘We ought to have more rules. ’”(Golding 42).
Ralph knew that they had to establish a form of trying to signal an outside source to have the chance of being rescued. Instead letting his desires take over he, strategized a plan where they would take turns watching the signal fire so it would not burn out. Even when the all the tribe left Ralph and he was left with Piggy and Samneric he knew that they had to warn them that you had to keep a fire going or they might never get rescued by ship. When he confronted Jack about it he told him, “Your only hope is keeping a signal fire going as long as there’s light to see.
Then maybe a ship’ll notice the smoke and come and rescue us and take us home. ” (178). Ralph’s intensions were only to help keep them safe and help them get rescued by coming up with a plan. This clearly shows how he is the Ego, when he makes decisions based on reality and thinks of the consequences when they are not followed. Although the Id over powers the Ego the Ego is more logical and would benefit more than the Id, as the Id only acts on pleasures. In addition, the Id and the Ego are very different in how they act the Ego and the Super Ego on the other hand works together.
The Super Ego acts upon like an advisor for thoughts as well as actions that are carried by the Ego, which people also refer to as a conscience. The Super Ego can also act like the Id but when the demands aren’t met you have to suffer through guilt, but when are met it can make you feel pride. The Super Ego, in this case represents Piggy as he constantly advises Ralph in his actions that he is taking. For example, when they first meet at the beginning of the story Piggy tells him what to do with the conch, “We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting.
They’ll come when they hear us. ”(Golding 16). Piggy is the one that had the idea to try to rejoice everyone back together to meet and figure out a plan. He then lost most respect from everyone when they began to call him Piggy no one listen to him anymore even when he had good ideas to speak about. Piggy would also help Ralph realize what Jack would do and he wouldn’t, “I been in bed so much I done some thinking. I know about people. I know about me. And him. He can’t hurt you: but if you stand out of the way he’d hurt the next thing. And that’s me” (93).
This displays Piggy’s effort in trying to help Ralph make decisions about Jack and what he is capable of. Without Piggy’s guidance as the Super Ego Ralph would not have been able to accomplish as much as he had done. Proving that Piggy served as Ralph’s Super Ego in judging Ralphs actions and plans. The Id, the Ego and the Super Ego all help to make the complex human personality. The Id, what makes us desire our pleasures unconsciously. The Ego helps us to adjust our Id to the situation to help us with a solution. And the Super Ego that acts like a censor for the actions of the Ego and thoughts.
These three elements all resemble one of the main characters from The Lord of the Flies the Id is Jack who only wants his pleasures met, the Ego is Ralph who want to strategize a plan to help get rescued, And the Super Ego that resembles Piggy that helps to advise Ralph in his actions and plans. If these three characters acted together in the novel they would have lost the rules and laws from society like they did. They would have also been able to be rescued sooner than they did if the three characters would have worked together to make the society strong.
Courtney from Study Moose
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