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Id, Ego, Super-ego

What is Id, Ego, Super-Ego, and how does Lord of The Flies use it?

The book Lord of the Flies by William Golding shows a sign of Freud’s Structural Theory: Id, Ego, and Super Ego. In the book Golding uses Freud’s Structural theory to explain the personalities of the main characters. Ralph is the Ego, Jack is the Id, and Piggy is the Super-Ego. These characteristics become a main role to survival for the boys on the island for they have no authority and are absent of adults for as long as they know. Without authority the boys could do whatever they want, and this in many ways could be wrong, since everything the boys have ever learned in a school setting do not apply.

In the book Ego would be considered Ralph. Ralph, being one of the most modest people of them all is having a struggle with his conscience. Ralph’s conscience is strongly influenced by Jack and Piggy. Ralph acts as if he is on a balance beam awaiting his influential personality with the Id, and Super-Ego. Ralph does not know that he is the main key to the island in the beginning but soon realizes that he must make choices that will determine his lifetime on the island.

If Ralph is bad he is being taken in by the Id and will do all he must to live on the island, as Freud’s explains that the Id is in all of us. Ralph at first shows a strong sense of Ego when he finds the conch and blows into it. Ralph becomes a leader and wants to do well because of the influence by Piggy. Later in the book however Ralph makes wrong actions and choices that will prove that Ralph is the Ego.

When Ralph joins in the fight with the Id (Jack) beating the kid in the forest that is acting like a pig shows that Ralph in a way wants to do bad and evil things but Piggy still has a big impact on Piggy as Piggy is Ralph’s Super-Ego. Another example of Ralph being influenced by Id would be when Ralph takes food from the hunters for his own survival and forgets the tragedies that would come. Ralph also shows how his characteristic is influenced by Super-Ego (Piggy) because of how Ralph has a good heart and thinks of his actions before doing them. Ralph shows an example of his kindness or his motivation by how Ralph protects Piggy, if Piggy didn’t have Ralph then Piggy would not last long at all on the island.

In the Lord of the Flies Freud’s Structural Theory of the Id, Ego, and Super-Ego, William gave Piggy the Super-Ego characteristic. Piggy is the Super-Ego because he is the only one that can see the trouble ahead of them and try to reverse things by showing sincere actions. Piggy was the type of kid that no matter what happened; he tried to make things better. While Piggy was on the island he was picked on a lot by the Id (Jack) but almost ignored by the Ego (Ralph), and yet Piggy still tried to warn others of the tragedies ahead.

When Piggy told Ralph to blow the conch to try and get the hunters to follow in and come to authority, he was trying to make things better and make peace between the island to resolve their problems. Even though the hunters did not come Piggy still tried as hard as he could to make peace, and when Ralph was sad for them killing Simon; Piggy was still supporting Ralph and trying to help Ralph get passed his troubles. Piggy also shows how superior his characteristics were was when Piggy decided to stick with Ralph instead of joining the hunters for food shows how Piggy is determine to not let Ralph down.

In the Lord of the Flies, William Golding gave Jack the characteristic of Id. Id according to Freud’s Structural Theory is the meanness or savageness that is in all of us. Jack is the most savage one of them all for his passion to drive out the leader and kill the pig. Jack first shows a big sign of his destructive personality when he tries constantly to kill the pig for his own amusement and blood-lust.

Jack, the leader of the hunters is extremely mean to Piggy because they’re exactly opposite; Piggy being the “Angel” and Jack being the “Demon”. Even though Jack is mean and destructive does not mean he is always at wrong. Jack was trying to kill the pig for meat for the kids on the island. Jack seems to cover up his blood-lust thought of killing the pig by telling others that he is doing it for the meat but he is actually doing it for amusement.

Another was Jack shows how much of a destructive personality he has is when Jack takes Piggy glasses to light the fire without Piggy’s permission. Jack also is not the one to follow rules, or be stuck in a situation where he has to follow rules because when Ralph first becomes leader, Jack is mad right away and wants to change this.

In all-in-all Freud’s Structural Theory shows how Id is bad, Ego is good, and Super-Ego is really good; and that is why Id is Jack, Ego is Ralph, and Piggy is Super-ego. Freud’s Structural Theory could also be explained by real life; In real life Id could be considered a “Demon”, Ego could be considered “Human” and Super-Ego could be considered a “Angel.”

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User Comments
  1. ChL

    On April 16, 2009 at 4:49 am


    Liked it :)

    thanks.

  2. lehsstudent

    On May 28, 2009 at 9:40 pm


    pretty helpful

  3. yellofello620

    On March 24, 2010 at 5:12 pm


    i think that simon is the superego whoever the author is needs to look at the book again because piggy represents intellectuality, not the super ego. simon is more good.

  4. TheTangerine

    On May 17, 2010 at 10:00 pm


    Yeah, but I think Piggy has a greater influence on Ralph than Simon, and maybe Piggy represents more than intellectuality? simon doesn’t really affect any of the other characters who are involved in island politics, he just drifts about…

  5. Turbo Queer

    On March 21, 2011 at 11:36 am


    This is a fantastic website and would recommend it to all travelling asians and hispanics.

  6. Jacobi Johanus

    On March 21, 2011 at 11:37 am


    great explantion of id ego and supereggo i thought it was fantastic and extrondinary, i think piggy is fat and is good and that jack is a selfish-ginger-bastard

  7. chacha romero

    On March 21, 2011 at 11:39 am


    gingers blow and jack is a ginger
    they have no souls and are an eyesore to look at
    piggy goes hard and is a chubster

  8. Frak Daniels

    On March 21, 2011 at 11:40 am


    im frak and im the id,

  9. Turbo Queer

    On March 21, 2011 at 11:43 am


    Im BW and I\’m the superego. Dont know what it means but I’m super. All of you queers that say otherwise can suck it.

  10. Turbo Queer

    On March 21, 2011 at 11:44 am


    Im BW and I’m the superego. Dont know what it means but I’m super. All of you queers that say otherwise can suck it.

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