ryantadman
3 years ago5,000+ Views
Freud in Modern Literature: The Lord of the Flies
Freudian thought is commonplace in literature, although it might not be obvious at first. While not my favorite book, Lord of the Flies is a great example of the Freudian division of the psyche. I will highlight the three main characters and how they represent the Id, Ego, and Superego. First, a basic recap of the three parts of our psyche according to Freud: The Id- Instinctual desires. The Id refuses to wait for things it wants. When the Id wants something the Id will not listen to any objections. The Ego- The middleman. The Ego listens to both the Id and the Superego and acts in a way that satisfies the Id's needs as well as the Superego's conscience. The Superego- The collection of every rule or more that you have been taught by society. The Superego is the opposite of the Id. Now how does this manifest in Lord of the Flies? The Id: Jack After the group of young boys divide into two camps, Jack takes control of the wilder tribe. He heads the battles against the dreaded "beast" and slaughters a pig with no remorse. He does not consider any long-term plans, and acts quickly and thoughtlessly. Caring only of himself, he quickly becomes the number one opponent to Ralph, the rational voice on the island. The Ego: Ralph Ralph is the golden child. He is strong, smart, and able to lead the group of stranded young boys with integrity. While he is not without flaws, he is able to balance the self-centered rashness of Jack with the worrisome, paralyzed nature of Piggy. He acts as the (un)happy medium between the Id and the Super Ego, making him Freud's Ego. He has a bitter sweet ending, because even though he survived the ordeal, he has come to realize the horrors of human nature as shown by Jack and his followers. The Superego: Piggy Piggy is painted as pathetic, with thick glasses, sensitive skin, and a long list of fears and worries. He constantly recalls advice or warnings from his grandmother and acts as if a teacher or police officer were watching over his shoulder. He is sheltered and scared of thinking for himself. Piggy is killed before the boys are rescued, and dies without his own name, without a real identity. Simon, on the other hand, is a character that is unlike any other boy on the island. He is pure and good, unattached from the pull of desires or pressures of society like Jack, Ralph, or Piggy. He comes to a tragic end in which he is murdered by the other boys, showing that completely pure people like this can't exist. That human nature will always have the desires and pressures shown in the other boys. We cannot escape the Id, Superego, and Ego in this sense. This is only the tip of the iceberg, so if you have any more questions feel free to ask them!
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I didn't like this book when I had to read it in high school, but I was impressed by all of the symbolism in the story. This is an interesting break down!
3 years ago·Reply
All I remember was that the pig killing scene was incredibly disturbing.
3 years ago·Reply
@caricakes @Nisfit As far as I know, this book is introduced in first year of high school. This might be too early to understand the complexity of the story. Maybe you should read it again @Nisfit
3 years ago·Reply
I recently reread this and am still amazed at golding's voew on human nature
3 years ago·Reply
i did like the lord of the flies and though i agree with the interpretation given i also believe it is a representation of the duality of man and its impact on civilization.
3 years ago·Reply
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