Outline #1: 1B
How does lord of the Flies function as an allegory for id, ego, and superego?
Intro: Sigmund Freud’s idea of the human psyche traits id, ego and superego, are ideas that William Golding incorporates in Lord of the Flies.
Explain the meaning of all of these terms.
Id: The Id part of the human psyche is the primitive or instinctive component of personality. Id responds only to our instincts and seeks immediate pleasure and when that pleasure in denied, it experiences tension. The Id is illogical and irrational and has no comprehension of reality.
Ego: The Ego is the rational component of the psyche that considers realities, norms, and rules and incorporates those in decision making. Like Id, the Ego also seeks pleasure, but unlike Id, the Ego is focused on devising a realistic plan to obtain that pleasure.
Superego: The superego is used to incorporate morals and ethics learned from society and human experience to control the Id’s impulses, and persuades the Ego to make goals based on morals rather than reality and strive for perfection. Superego has two systems: conscience and ideal-self. Conscience can punish the Ego by making it experience guilt or anxiety. Ideal-self is an image that the Superego paints, showing how you should be, represented career aspiration, and how to treat others and be a member of society.
What character represents each of theses concepts?
Jack represents Id because once he is fully immersed in the island, he has lost all his ability to make rational decisions based on morals, and has degraded himself to an underdeveloped psyche, otherwise known as Id.
This is shown in chapter ten when Jack ties up Wilfred and says he’s going to beat him. This action of ruthlessly beating someone who was once a friend shows Jack’s lack of morals and his inability to think and lead rationally.
Even during his early time on the island Jack has no interest in realistic goals. Unlike Ralph or Piggy, he has no interest in keeping the fire going or setting up shelters. His only focus in the beginning of his time on the island is hunting.
Ralph’s character represents the Ego. Ralph’s rationality and his focus on how to best benefit the group is shown constantly throughout his leadership on the island.
He focuses on rescue by making sure there is always a fire, and he also works on making sure all the boys are safe by building them shelters.
Another example of his Ego-ness is how he makes decisions for the benefit of the group in an organized way. Throughout high intensity situations where the boys are unsettled, Ralph holds assemblies and tries his best to makes them fair and organized.
Piggy and Simon both embodied the Superego because they influence Ralph’s (ego) decisions by being a reminder of morality, values and ethics, as well as being there to help him. They also represent Superego because when Ralph makes a decision, like Superego, they influence how he feels afterwards. When he makes a well-thought out decision they commend him, and when his morality breaks, they inforce guilt.
Piggy personifies the part of Superego that is the voice of reason. He is always there with Ralph on the island until his own demise, and serves as the angel on his shoulder, guiding him to do what is morally right.