The Individual Struggle Within Society: an Analysis of the Freudian Allegory in William Golding’s Novel Lord of the Flies

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The Individual Struggle Within Society: An Analysis of the Freudian Allegory in William Golding’s Novel Lord of the Flies
Just as society strives to maintain a balance of structure, individuals face a similar conflict. Sigmund Freud identifies this internal conflict with his interpretation of the battle within the human conscience; these opposing forces are the id, ego, and superego. In William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies, Golding conveys that in order to maintain structure in a civilization, a balance is needed between the id and the superego; without this balance, society loses its stability. The various characters in the book portray this idea.

The id possesses the primitive, greedy, and inconsiderate traits in a human being. Jack, one of the main characters in the novel, exemplifies this personality the best. He illustrates the primitive component of the id when he hunts for a pig in the beginning of chapter two: “Then dog-like, uncomfortably on all fours yet unheeding his discomfort, he stole forward five yards and stopped” (43). Jack hunched on all fours and dog-like shows the id’s impulsive and atavistic nature. His bloodlust guides him to succumb to his current desire for meat and drives him to hunt on all fours like an animal. Not only does Jack surrender to his bloodlust and lack restraint by behaving like an animal, but he also makes hasty comments without considering the long-term effects.

When Jack longs to lead the group he asks the boys “Who’ll join my tribe and have fun? (150). Jack only seeks immediate satisfaction instead of carefully pondering the consequences. He fails to realize that Ralph would be a better leader, and instead only craves to fulfill his lust for power and fun. Jack never considers the greater good of the tribe or shows concern for survival needs; he focuses on hunting and frolicking as opposed to strategizing for the future. These actions make evident Jack’s shift to the id as they are all for self-gratifying...
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