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Nicole Mehta

Mr. Owain Phillips


English 9B
29 March 2014
Psychoanalysis behind Lord of the Files
Imagine a boy punches your face, what would be your reaction? Would you punch him
back, or just simply walk away considering the consequences of your actions? The Lord of the
Flies introduces a very interesting topic related to Psychology. The three main characters, Piggy,
Ralph and Jack, each represent a different aspect of the mind: the Super Ego, Ego, Id.
One might ask, what is psychoanalysis? It is when individuals are unaware of the factors
that determine their emotions and behavior. When one is consumed by the Id, the individual is
unaware that the Id is controlling their behavior. Same works for the Super Ego, one does not
know that the Super Ego is controlling ones emotions.The id is the most dangerous of the three
factors because it is the impulsive and unconscious part of our mind that responds to our
instincts (Simply Psychology).
Piggy and Jack always oppose each other, and have very different thoughts and opinions.
This confrontation happens because Piggy symbolises the Super Ego and a Jack the Id.
Hypothetically, the Super Ego is the complete opposite of th Id. Both sides want Ralph, or the
ego on their side because Ralph is supposed to be the balance between the rational Piggy and
the reasonless Jack. In the beginning, Ralph and Piggy get a conch (45), which is a symbol for
order and respect, but no one want to listen to Piggy, nobody cares about his opinions, and that is
because no one wants to take the harder path.
Once Ralph presents the shell to the group, the little kids shout vote chief (22), and he
is elected the leader. Jack is already filled with rage, but Ralph or the ego tries to change Jack
by letting him be the leader of the hunting group. Ralph is the one who balances the opposing
sides. He helps create rules with Piggy, but he can also be a savage like Ralph, an example
would be when he stabs Simon and ends up killing him. In the end of chapter four, Jack hurts
Ralph and Piggy, but he ended up apologising to Ralph, because he made Jack feel guilt for what
he did.
One notices that Jack does not think before he acts. When Piggy made him angry, he
ended up hurting him, not even thinking about the consequences of that act. Sometimes one does
feel like punching the Super Ego in the face, because one knows it is right but one does not want
to follow it, one does not want to admit it is correct. When the boys joined Jack on his killer
dance, they ended up killing Simon, and not the beast, which is themselves. Jack finally kills the
pig, but he does it in a very vicious way, he jammed the soft throat down on the pointed end of
the stick and used it as an offer to the beast (136).
Could Ralph be the Super Ego? He could be because Piggy is only there to help Ralph
accomplish his plans - Ralph thinks farther. He wants to build shelter and fire, he thinks about
being rescued using the smoke of the fire, but unfortunately the fire they made did not have any
smoke so what [was] that any use if the fire did not last long and it had no smoke (44)? Piggy
is there to demand attention and to help Ralph keep up the democracy, but he does not come up
with the ideas, Piggy is only there to support Ralph.
Despite my concession, Piggy is clearly the Super Ego, Ralph is the one who is the
balance between Jack and Piggy but he can be mean and vicious like Jack. In the beginning, the
fat boy told Ralph that he did not want to be called the same name that he was called in school,
but the second he told Ralph what it was, he made everybody call him Piggy! Piggy! (11).
Ralph also has his good side because he wants to keep up the democracy and he did not feel
thrilled with the killing of the pig.
One that reads Lord of the Flies, does not realize that the book is about the true Devil,
ourselves. The real devil on Lord of the Flies is not referred as in the traditional religious
sense; it is represented as the Id himself, the one that that does not care about his actions (Notes
on Lord of the Flies). Jack is considered the bad guy but he just has been consumed by the Id,
losing his ability to think. Ralph is the one who tries to modify Jack by giving him privileges like
being the leader of the hunters. But all it does is increase Jack's bloodlust and viciousness. Piggy
is representing the rational one, the one that considers his actions and the one who is opposing
the Id.











Works Cited
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Coward-McCann, 1962. Print.
"Id, Ego and Superego." Id Ego Superego. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2014.
Epistein, E. L. "Notes on Lord of the Flies." Rev. of Lord of the Flies. n.d.: n. pag. Print.