Lord Of The Flies- Savages of Society

This essay Lord Of The Flies- Savages of Society has a total of 1758 words and 8 pages.

Lord Of The Flies - Savages of Society

In viewing the various aspects of the island society in Golding\'s Lord of
the Flies as a symbolic microcosm of society, a converse perspective must
also be cons id ered. Golding\'s island of marooned youngsters then becomes a
macrocosm, wherein the island represents the individual human and the
various characters and symbols the elements of the human psyche. As such,
Golding\'s world of children\'s morals and actions then becomes a survey of
the human condition, both individually and collectively.
Almost textbook in their portrayal, the primary characters of Jack, Ralph
and Piggy are then best interpreted as Freud\'s very concepts of id, ego and
superego, respectively. As the id of the island, Jack\'s actions are the
most blatantly driven by animalistically rapacious gratification needs. In
discovering the thrill of the hunt, his pleasure drive is emphasized,
purported by Freud to be the basic human need to be gratified. In much the
same way, Golding\'s portrayal of a hunt as a rape, with the boys ravenously
jumping atop the pig and brutalizing it, alludes to Freud\'s basis of the
pleasure drive in the libido, the term serving a double Lntendre in its
psychodynamic and physically sensual sense.
Jack\'s unwillingness to acknowledge the conch as the source of centrality on
the island and Ralph as the seat of power is consistent with the portrayal
of his particular self-importance. Freud also linked the id to what he
called the destructive drive, the aggressiveness of self-ruin. Jack\'s
antithetical lack of compassion for nature, for others, and ultimately for
himself is thoroughly evidenced in his needless hunting, his role in the
brutal murders of Simon and Piggy, and finally in his burning of the entire
island, even at the cost of his own life.
In much the same way, Piggy\'s demeanor and very character links him to the
superego, the conscience factor in Freud\'s model of the psyche. Golding
marks Piggy with the distinction of being more intellectually mature than
the others, branding him with a connection to a higher authority: the
outside world. It is because the superego is dependent on outside support
that Piggy fares the worst out of the three major characters in the
isolation of the island.
Piggy is described as being more socially compatible with adults, and
carries himself with a sense of rationale and purpose that often serves as
Ralph\'s moral compass in crisis; although Ralph initially uses the conch to
call the others, it is Piggy who possesses the knowledge to blow it as a
signal despite his inability to do so. Similarly, Piggy\'s glasses are the
only artifact of outside technology on the island, further indication of his
correlation to greater moral forces. In an almost gothic vein, these same
glasses are the only source of fire on the island, not only necessary for
the boys\' rescue, but responsible for their ultimate destruction. Thus does
fire, and likewise Piggy\'s glasses, become a source of power.
Piggy\'s ideals are those most in conflict with Jack\'s overwhelming hunger
for power and satiation. It is in between these representations of chaos
and order that Ralph falls. Golding\'s depiction of Ralph as leader is
analogous to Freud\'s placement of the ego at the center of the psyche.
Ralph performs as the island\'s ego as he must offset the raw desires of the
id with the environment using the superego as a balancing tool. This
definition is consistent with Ralph\'s actions, patronizing Jack\'s wish to
hunt with their collective need to be rescued, often turning to Piggy for
advice. Initially, in the relative harmony of the island society\'s early
emergence, Ralph is able to balance the opposing id and superego influences
in order to forge a purpose: rescue. It is only as the balance devolves
that the fate of the island\'s inhabitants is darkly determined.
Among Ralph, Piggy and Jack exists a constant struggle to assert their
particular visions over the island. As the authority of leadership by
default falls to Ralph, the conch then becomes symbolic of the
consciousness. Its possession rotates between Ralph and Piggy in order to
determine logical courses of action for the boys. Jack however, constantly
eschews the authority of the conch, consistent with Freud\'s model with the
id by definition remaining subconscious, but fully able to exert influence
over decision-making.
Conversely, the masks and face-paints that Jack\'s group of hunters come to
wear are very suggestive of Freud\'s image of the subconscious. The hidden
and secretive nature of the boys\' faces beneath their disguises gives them a
camouflage blending them into the background of the island foliage, making
them imperceptible to the awareness of the self. Their

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Related Topics

Freudian psychology, English-language films, Films, Lord of the Flies, Sigmund Freud, Psychodynamics, Id, ego and super-ego, Oedipus complex

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