Lord of the Flies: The ID, Ego, and Super-Ego Essay

Lord of the Flies: The ID, Ego, and Super-Ego Essay

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Throughout history, it has been noted that when an individual is isolated from civilization, various psychological effects take a toll on that person’s well-being. Sigmund Freud, an Austrian psychologist, believed that when a person is isolated from civilization, a darker “savage” side naturally takes over (“Id, Ego, and Super-ego” n. pag). William Golding shared this belief and used it as inspiration to write one of his most well-known novels, Lord of the Flies. Freud’s findings on the human mind led him to believe there are three main parts: The id, the ego, and the super-ego (“Id, Ego, and Super-ego” n. pag). Jack, Ralph, Simon, and Piggy are not only the main characters in Golding’s Lord of the Flies, but also embody the id, ego, and super-ego characteristics of Freudian psychology.
Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 to Jewish Galician parents in the Moravian town of Pribor in the Austrian Empire (“Sigmund Freud” n. pag). During his education in the medical field, Freud decided to mix the career fields of medicine and philosophy to become a psychologist (“Sigmund Freud” n. pag). During his research as a psychologist, he conceived the Structural Model Theory, which he discussed in his essay Beyond the Pleasure Principle. The theory states that the human psyche is divided into three main parts: the id, ego, and super-ego (“Id, Ego, and Super-ego” n. pag). He concluded that the id was the desire for destruction, violence and sex; the ego was responsible for intellect and dealing with reality; and the super-ego was a person’s sense of right and wrong and moral standards (Hamilton, n. pag). Freud argued that a healthy individual will have developed the strongest ego to keep the id and super-ego in check (“Id, Ego, and Super-ego” n. p...


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... the last moral compass and the the super-ego. Even if it was possible to regain their sense of civilization, the ego and super-ego cannot repress the id in the long run, just as Freud predicted (Jones n. pag).
Although there are many interpretations of Golding’s Lord of the Flies, one of the most important is one that involves an examination of Freudian ideas. The main characters personify Sigmund Freud’s theory of the divisions of the human mind; thus, Jack, Ralph, Piggy and Simon are metaphors for the id, ego, and the super-ego of Freudian psychology, respectively. The inclusion of psychological concepts in this literary work distinguish it as a commentary on human nature, beyond labels of “adventure” or “coming of age” novel. Many readers are left in shock upon reading Golding’s masterpiece because of the children’s loss of innocence, but most fail to consider

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