Lord Of The Flies And The Human Mind

1644 words - 7 pages

When a person makes a decision it is often with the values of society in mind, but without these morals as a guideline it is possible to imagine the world we would be living in. William Golding's Lord of the Flies is a literary exemplar of human nature at its core, as summarized by Sigmund Freud's theory of the mind’s three levels of psychological consciousness. The character of Jack represents the first level of consciousness that is only concerned with animalistic pleasures; called the i.d. Ralph symbolized the ego which uses basic cognitive skills and instills patience to seek the primitive wants to the i.d in the most effective way. The most intelligent of the boys, Piggy, represents the superego or the guiding power that encourages living by the morals and values that have the ultimate control over human instinct. Throughout the novel Lord of the Flies there are many instances where the characters exemplify the levels of consciousness theorized by Sigmund Freud.

Jack shares the same desire to instantly satisfy his appetite for aggression and entertainment as the first and most basic level of psychological consciousness, the i.d. A prominent piece of evidence supporting this is his disregard for rules and order and the thoughts and feelings of others. When the biguns discuss their plan to get off the island he interjects with his own trivial ideas, saying “All the same you need an army- for hunting” (Golding 23). The i.d. can not function when it’s plans go awry and neither does Jack. When the other boys at first do not want to join his tribe he storms off and yells “I’m not going to play any longer. Not with you” (Golding 127). Jack, like every person at their core, is only concerned with avoiding pain and experiencing pleasure. By the end of the novel the boys have taken to Jack’s lifestyle, showing they have forgotten the messages previously enforced of them and can only be concerned with the simplistic goals of their own i.d’s.

Ralph, the first official leader, represents the ego in it’s control over how and when the wishes of the i.d. will be fulfilled. Ralph attempts to put democracy into action, he gives everyone work shifts and a chance to speak during assemblies. When the boys abandon his “society” and objectives for the hunt, Ralph does not understand their foolishness and makes the analogy that “If a doctor said take this because if you don’t take it you’ll die- you would, wouldnt you?” (Golding 139). Ralph places importance on his own survival and tries to remind the other boys that being saved is more important than satisfying the urge to hunt. The most blatant example of this is the constant battle between keeping...

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