Macrocosm In William Golding's Lord Of The Flies

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William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is a novel that exemplifies the psychology of the human race as defined by Sigmund Freud and his psychoanalytic theory of personality, defining the three parts of the psyche, the Id, the Ego, and the Superego, with the Id in constant conflict with the other two. An analysis of this theory will show that each of the main characters of the novel, Jack, Ralph, and Piggy, is the epitome of each psychological aspect of the human personality, proving that in the setting of the island without the societal values and morals of the macrocosm, the Id overcomes its adversaries. In Lord of the Flies, the protagonist Ralph comes to embody the Freudian element of personality called the Ego. According to Diane Andrews…show more content…
These impulses, often sexual, seek to provide pleasure without regard to the cost” (Henningfeld). Jack continuously exhibits such impulses in addition to openly violent ones throughout the novel. At the conclusion of the very first chapter of the novel, he foreshadows his sadistic tendencies when he very nearly kills a pig. Later, he is shown acclimating to his environment (i.e. the forest) and refining his hunting abilities. All of these events lead up to Jack’s eventual split from Ralph’s rule and his complete succumbing to his negative impulses. This is epitomized in his vicious and thoughtless attack on the sow, during which he, “…was on top of the sow, stabbing downwards with his knife” (Golding, 135), exhibiting his brutal nature. His merciless assault on her was described by Henningfeld as, “…rife with sexual overtones”, displaying his completely impulse-controlled demeanor that shows no consideration for any logical thoughts. His abandonment of logic is also shown through the killing of the sow due to the strategic value of the sow due to her ability to bear more pigs for them to eat. However, due to Jack’s uninhibited impulses and abandoned logic especially when hunting, he has removed a potential asset to their survival. Therefore, because of his actions guided solely by sadistic and irrational impulses which aim…show more content…
According to Kendra Cherry, “The superego is the aspect of personality that holds all of our internalized moral standards and ideals that we acquire from both parents and society—our sense of right and wrong”. Piggy typifies the Superego, therefore, because of his role as the constant voice of reason and order on the island. For example, he continuously presses Ralph and the others to have a sense of responsibility, thinking less of savagery and more on their survival. Piggy cautions, “…you build a bonfire that isn’t no use… Cooked fruit, that’s what we’ll have to eat, and roast pork. And that’s nothing to laugh at” (Golding, 45). His scolding of the boys’ laughter at the bonfire on the island shows a sense of priority over the barbarism that seems to consume the others. In addition, he shows a consistent reliance on Ralph as a source of confidence and support, which parallels the characteristic that, “…the superego must employ the ego to control the id…” (Henningfeld). Therefore, Piggy is the embodiment of the superego in the novel due to his parallel characteristics with Freud’s definition of this aspect of the

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