Ego, Id, and Superego Essay
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“The poor ego has a still harder time of it; it has to serve three harsh masters, and it has to do its best to reconcile the claims and demands of all three… The three tyrants are the external world, the superego, and the id.” That quote was said by the physiologist Sigmund Freud. Freud developed a system of classifying individual’s mental life. The system is id, ego, and superego. In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, id, ego, and superego are used to deepen the audience’s outlook on the main characters.
Ralph represented ego, which could be compared to being human. Jack represented id, which symbolized evil. Finally, Simon represented superego, which can be compared to an angel.
Ralph represented ego, which was a self serving person who had flaws. Ralph was self centered because all he cared about was being rescued, “we want to be rescued; and of course we shall be rescued.” (37). That quote demonstrated Ralph’s focus on being rescued.
Ralph tried to obtain order by having the conch, and being a leader to the other boys. Ralph’s human flaws surfaced when he made fun of Piggy, and when he joined Jack in acting out the killing of the pig, eventually killing Simon. “‘That was Simon.’ ‘You said that before.’ ‘Piggy.’ ‘Uh?’ ‘That was murder.’” (156). That quote showed that Ralph knew what he did was very wrong, and he felt guilty. Ralph’s human qualities became very translucent.
Id is best matched up to Jack Merridew because he would seek adventure, and look for personal pleasure. Jack represented evil from the beginning because of the way he took Piggy’s glasses and his cruelty to the little kids by yelling at them. “He tried to convey the compulsion to track down and kill that was swallowing him up.” (51). That quote demonstrated how Jack had transformed into a savage killer who didn’t care about being rescued. “The forest near them burst into uproar. Demoniac figures with faces of white and red and green rushed out howling, so that the littluns fled screaming.” (140). That quote showed Jack and his hunters attacking Piggy and Ralph. Jack scared off the ‘littleuns’ which showed he didn’t care about anyone. Jack becomes so savage that he killed Simon in an attempt to act out killing the beast. It was clear Jack that a representation of evil.
Simon was a prime example of superego. All Simon did was good, the novel never showed Simon as evil. “Simon found for them the fruit they could not reach, pulled off the choicest from up in the foliage, passed them back down to the endless outstretched hands.” (56). That quote proved Simon was compassionate to all the kids, even the ‘littleuns’. “Simon, sitting between the twins and Piggy, wiped his mouth and shoved his piece of meat over the rocks to Piggy.” (74). That quote was another example of kindness shown by Simon. Simon gave his meat to Piggy when the other boys refused to give him any. When Simon was killed by all the other boys, for no reason, he was going to find them to tell them that the beast was not real. That displayed Simon only wanted to do good, he was truly an angelic figure.
Sigmund Freud’s system of classifying individual’s metal life was very applicable to the novel Lord of the Flies. Ralph represented human nature in ego because he was focused on his own desire to be rescued. Jack showed he represented evil by showing his meanness and savageness, which all fell into the category of id. Simon strived for good, which made him superego, and he would be represented by an angel. In conclusion, Freud’s system of mental classification is always conflicting, much like Ralph, Jack, and Piggy’s personalities.