The Lord of the Flies Freudian Theory
People are all born with a unique genetic blueprint, which lays out the basic characteristics for our personality, and yet, well all know life experiences do change [people] (Vinge). In the novel Lord of the Flies, the concept of Sigmund Freud’s personality theory is present in various characters and. Golding personified the id, ego, and superego in his characters of Jack, Ralph, and Piggy. Influenced by his awareness of Freudian ideas, William Golding proves that all men, when faced with difficulty, will experience a struggle within themselves. Throughout the novel Lord of the Flies is used as an example of Sigmund Freud’s theory of Id, Ego, and Superego. His theory refers to a person’s mind as having three different ideas fighting one another with one winning in the end.
The winning idea being the person’s action. The Id of your brain does not care about any other person and only cares for itself. If you are hungry and don’t have money you will steal food. Ego is in between Id and Superego, it allows you to wait until the appropriate time to satisfy your need. If you don’t have money and need food instead of stealing you ask money from a person. Super Ego is your morals and ethics. It is your inner voice telling you to do the right thing. There are two sections of Superego. The Ego Ideal is what your brain registers as what you should do or what is right to do like save a person from a burning building. Conscience is what your brain registers as a wrong example knowing that stealing is very wrong. If you are following Superego an example is if you are hungry without money you get a job and work for money and help anyone else who needs help. All three of these are shown in the novel. They create a government but it slowly turns to shambles and most of the boys turn savage all except Ralph, Piggy and Simon.
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There are many instances of Id in the book, most of these instances are formed by the uncivil tribal boys. Id is represented throughout the book this way for example this quote. “The pig’s head hung down with a gaping heck and seemed to search for something on the ground. At last the words of the chant floated up to them, across the bowl of blackened wood and ashes. ‘Kill the pig! Cut her throat! Spill her blood!”(Golding 4). In this quote the tribal boys disregard the pigs life by killing it so brutally and allowing its piglets to watch. They then dance like savages around the fire and this is the start of the tribe going savage. This shows Id in the fact that they are only thinking of themselves and taking a life. Often in the book the quote “Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood!” is used, this shows the tribe is slowly turning Id completely that can also be described as savage. “At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on the beast, screamed, struck, hit, tore.”(Golding 153). These actions are Id because they are killing one of the boys because they are bloodthirsty and itching to kill when the unfortunate Simon shows up. They decide to think of only their need for blood, and disregard his life as well similarly to how they disregarded the sow, in the way that they don’t give him a chance to live and are horribly brutal to him. The tribe through the book turns savage, taking many lives without regard for the fallen and only thinking of themselves. Ego is represented like the other two branches in this book. It is not very often but very prominent when found.
One example of Ego is, “That was murder”(Golding 156). In this quote Ralph is upset. He at the time just stood there and watched as his friend was murdered. This shows Ego because he knows this was wrong but did not act upon his feeling. “My Auntie wouldn’t let me blow on account of my Asama”(Golding 16). This quote is Ego because Piggy understands his limitations and the rules that his Aunt made. He is respecting these rules and following them by letting Ralph blow the conch to call the others. This shows Ego because he is following rules his Aunt gave him. Though there are only a small amount of quotes in this book that are Ego they are prominent and show that the boys know what society would think of their actions. Super Ego is represented like the others throughout the book by Ralph and Piggy as well as other boys. Ralph looked at him quickly and Piggy blushed. I mean-to make sure nothing happens (Golding 148). In this quote Piggy wants to go check on the other tribe that deserted them and make sure that everything is alright, that they have water, food, fire, and housing. Piggy often makes comments similar to this one in the book where he chooses to look after other members of the group. This shows Super Ego because he is looking out for others and is trying to do what is righteous. Just an ordinary fire. You’d think we could do that? Just a smoke signal so we can be rescued. Only now there’s no signal going up, ships may be passing. Do you remember how he went hunting and the fire went out and a ship passed by? And they all think he’s best as chief. Then there was, there was… that’s his fault too. If it hadn’t been for him it would never have happened. Now Piggy can’t see and they came stealing (Golding, 170). Ralph is upset that the new tribe is savage that reminds the few people who are still with him that a morality society is best and helps everyone. He is looking out for every one’s best interests and wishes for everyone to get along. As proven through the reading this demonstrates Sigmund Freud’s theory of Id, Ego, and Superego.
As you can see from the above this theory is very distinguished in this classic tale of the unfortunate result in human behavior. Although this story is truly a hard fact of life is very unfortunate the way it is.