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Nowadays, it is no doubt that human beings are suffering from depression and pressure in daily lives. However, most of the people are not aware of it. Psychologists have been focusing on how these repressed, and subconscious emotions play an active role throughout life since the early twentieth century. The ‘Father of Psychology’, Sigmund Freud, theorized a system of categorizing individual’s mental life into three parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the primitive part of a personality that respond directly to the human instinct; the ego is the decision-making component, and it develops to satisfy between the lust of the id and the external world; the superego is the preconscious part of the personality that deals with moral judgment. Many authors have incorporated this theory into their works by means of the characters. The novel Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, tells a story about the end of the innocence and the beginning of the savagery that a group of British children left stranded on a beautiful island after a plane crash, and they were immersed in freedom until the human nature took over. Golding utilizes Jack, Ralph, and Piggy who are the primary characters to interpret Freud’s concepts of this three types of human personality, respectively.
First of all, Jack is the best concerned with the personality suggested by id. He represents the dark side of human nature, and he displays the id mentality through his violent actions. He had tried to maintain civilized before he started hunting. However, it does not remain constant. It fades soon while he is driven by his desires. The dictator becomes dominant in his personality. Following his desires, every time the first thing that comes to his mind is always to kill or hurt others. While Jack and his boys are managing to kill a wild boar, they begin dancing and saying, “[k]ill the pig. Cut her throat. Bash her in” (Golding 79). This chart indicates the unit desires among them and it also becomes a symbol of their savagery. It is obviously not a primary need but only meant for fun and pleasure. They are now driven by the innate desire for destruction. Furthermore, according to the ‘pleasure principle’, it seeks to avoid pain and unpleasantness in order to satisfy one’s biological and psychological needs. It is not bad enough to have desires but to act upon it. Jack does so to a mother sow, “Jack [is] on top of the sow, stabbing downward with his knife…the spear move[s] forward inch by inch and the terrified squealing [becomes] a high-pitched scream. Then Jack [finds] the throat and the hot blood spout[s] over his hands” (Golding 149). The imagery and action indicate that Jack does things without thought of any consequences, only for his own impulsive desires. Like the id aims to take over the thought in one’s mind without determining the needs of others rather than reality and morality.
Secondly, Golding portrays Ralph as an embodiment of ego that makes sure to satisfy all the needs and wants of the id in a way that seems proper in today’s world, which means that ego not only interacts with conscious but also the unconscious mind. Ralph is the chief and one of the most influential boys in this little society. He constantly acts as a democratic leader that balancing between the id and superego. For instance, realizing Jack’s desire of being the chief, Ralph gives him control of the hunting team, “Ralph look[s] at him, eager to offer something. ‘The choir belongs to you, of course.’…The suffusion drained away from Jack’s face” (Golding 19). He cares about others’ feelings and does something realistic that is allowed by the society. At the same time, he fulfills Jack’s desire to be a leader to a certain extent. This reasonable action, which is controlled by the ego, also satisfies the urges of id in a socially accepted way. Moreover, Ralph has a strong sense of responsibility. While he is complaining to Piggy that the other boys do not care about the importance of the fire going, he makes a confession, “ ‘[s]upposing I got to like the others—not caring. What ’up become of us’ ” (Golding 153). He is more conscious of the society rather than himself. Ralph is a neutral leader as he identifies the savagery of it and the morality of superego in order to come up with a realistic situation for the public. Like the ego represents the rational aspect of the mind, and maintains peace and stability.
To end with, Piggy personifies the concept of superego to carry out the instinctual moral good most of the times. Golding represents Piggy as being more logically and intellectually mature than the others. Acting as the voice of reason, the superego inside his personality moralizes him as a sympathetic and sensible boy and guides him to choose what is morally right. While Jack leads the boys to make noise and rush, “Ralph [is] left, holding the conch, with no one but Piggy” (Golding 37). As the mob is full of noise and movement, Piggy does not follow Jack in overexcitement, rather he keeps calm and stays with the chief. His superego dominates him to maintain civilization. He displays consistent attention to societal rulings and feels like structure is the most important thing to the boys. Whatsmore, Piggy is willing to contribute to the society. He is “so full of pride in his contribution to the good of society, that he helped to fetch wood” (Golding 142). The moral goodness and devoted nature of Piggy come from his instinct human nature. Like the superego meets the ethical standards by which the ego operates.