Friday, June 15th
Id, Ego and Superego
In The Lord of the Flies, a group of young boys are stranded on a deserted island, where their sense of mortality is not fully developed. The boys are removed from any outside influence. Three of the boys represent the three parts of Freud’s theory that the mind is split into three parts, the Id, Ego and Superego. The boys begin to lose touch with the rules and order associated with civilization. In the book the Id, Ego, and Superego are all fighting for control. The book shows the way that the Id, the Ego and the Superego try to work together when they have no way out. The theory that the mind is divided into three parts, is represented by the three main characters, Jack as the Id, Ralph as the Ego, and Piggy as the Superego.
The Id, is the part of the mind that ignites impulses and primal urges. The Id wants things and wants them right away. Jack Merridew is portrayed as the Id in The Lord of the Flies. From the start of the book Jack’s craving for power is very obvious. He quickly becomes obsessed with his desire to kill a pig. Jack starts to disobey the rules the other boys have set into place and decides he should go his own way. One example of the Id controlling him is when Piggy tells him that he shouldn’t have let the fire go out, so Jack ends up hitting Piggy. The Id does not want to wait around and does not want to be instructed by the Superego. Jack resorts to violent and lawless ways. The Id makes him react against order and always wants its way, even at the cost of society. Jack tries to obtain power by preying on the other boys fear of the beast. All of his actions are exactly those of a little child who is completely ruled by the Id.
The Ego is the part of the mind that balances the desires of the Id, and the cautiousness of the Superego. The Ego is the only part of the mind that interacts with both the conscious and unconscious. The Ego must choose the rational option to take. Golding, puts Ralph in many situations where he has to determine which is the right option to make at that moment. Ralph is portrayed as the Ego. Ralph is the most sensible one in the group who tries to balance all the problems out. He tries to create a civilization, but negotiates with Jack and makes him the leader of the hunters. He also helps Piggy create the rules and tries to keep the boys from savagery. Ralph helps to balance Jack and Piggy so that one part of the mind is not in complete control. He focuses on the idea of being rescued by using fire. Ultimately Ralph is the balance between the good and the evil.
The Superego are the ideals we have acquired throughout our lifetime from our parents and society. The Superego always works against the ideals of the Id. The Superego is the opposite of the Id. Piggy demonstrates all the assets of the Superego. He demonstrates this at the start when he wants to take names of all the boys. The Superego tries to prevent the Id from going savage. Piggy is constantly telling the boys what they are doing wrong and lets them know they are drifting away from reality. He also tries to steer the boys away from the idea of the beast, so there’s no panic.
In The Lord of the Flies, Golding suggests that there is a “beast” inside of everyone, in the right circumstances. Freud’s theory connects with the idea if that there were to be an absence of civilized rules and laws for the Superego, then the Id would rise and come into power, just as Golding did in The Lord of the Flies. The novel suggests that in order for a well constructed civilization there must be a balance in Freud’s theory.