Lord Of The Flies Ralph Ego Analysis

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William Golding’s Lord of the Flies demonstrates how Ralph’s use of his id gradually overrides his use of his ego as time passes on the island due to the innate instincts in humans. Golding uses the fire, conch shell, and Ralph’s hair to show how Ralph transitions from primarily using his ego to using his id more often to finally having his id take precedent over his ego and superego. When the boys are first stranded on the island after the plane crashes, Ralph emerges as a leader for the boys, partially due to his strong display of his ego. After Jack, Ralph, and Simon have explored the island Ralph calls a meeting where he says “I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak,” exhibiting how the conch represents order(33). By saying that…show more content…
Ralph’s leadership over the boys begins to wane and his control over the boys is not as solid as when the boys first arrived on the island. At the meeting Jack calls to discuss what occurred on the mission to investigate the beast on the mountain, Jack asks “who thinks Ralph oughtn’t be chief?” questioning Ralph’s ability to lead(127). The “near-white, and transparen[t],” conch shell is representative of the breakdown in order and how Ralph’s leadership is on shaky grounds(78). On the investigation to find the beast, Ralph uses his id as opposed to his ego when he participates in hurting Robert when Robert is pretending to be a pig . If Ralph had been using his ego, he would have been aware that their time should be spent looking for the beast instead of playing games, but Ralph was using his id which would urge him to follow his “desire to squeeze and hurt,” as he could do in the game with Robert(115). Ralph’s “mass” of “filthy hair,” is reflective of his savagery that he displays in the game(109). When Piggy and Ralph are talking after Jack leaves the pig head as a gift for the beast, Ralph admits that the boys do not care about keeping the fire going and that “[he] don’t sometimes,”(139). His lack of use of his ego is seen here because he is becoming increasingly unaware of how the smoke from the fire is needed to get rescue from the outside world. Since Ralph is no longer as focused on the fire and how it means rescue, the fire is a symbol of his increased disinterest in getting rescued. He still is attempting to stay aware of reality, but despite these efforts his mental clarity and leadership are in
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