By Alex Alberto, Lexi Yudin, Sean Murphy, Shane Brown, and Kristen Porter IDEA English 2 Acc. Mooney, Period 1
The ego is a component of psychiatrist Sigmund Freud’s Structural Model of personality. It is the logical side of the human mind, which has a strong grasp on reality.
In the novel the ego is conveyed through the main character, Ralph. He is the levelheaded leader of the group, which parallels the definition of the ego.
At the end of the novel, when the boys are about to be rescued, Ralph reflects on the events which occurred on the island. Thinking about the savagery that caused the death of Piggy, “Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend called Piggy,”(Golding, 202). By understanding the darkness of man and realizing its terrible outcomes, Ralph is demonstrating his ability to be rational and aware, which supports his portrayal of the ego and strongly illustrates this Freudian concept in the novel.
The superego is another component of the Structural Model of personality. It is the moral, insightful side of the human mind, which provides guidelines for making decisions.
In the novel, Piggy represents the superego. He is the intellectual, observant boy in the group.
During the opening scene of the novel, when Piggy and Ralph meet, Piggy illustrates the superego when they find a conch shell washed up on the shore of the island. Rather than overlooking the conch as a simple gift from the ocean, Piggy sees it as a useful tool, and states, “we can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They’ll come when they hear us—,“ (Golding, 16). By having the foresight to use something so simple to the advantage of the entire group, Piggy demonstrates the thoughtful, astute aspect of the superego.
Beelzebub, literally translated as “The Lord of the Flies”, is the impaled sow’s head in the novel. This severed head is a symbol of the power of evil and is also meant to be a Satan-like figure, as it malevolently speaks to Simon, the Christ-like character of the novel.
In the Old Testament of the Bible, Beelzebub is portrayed as a demonic character, and could be interpreted as the devil himself. He is described as “the prince of demons,” (The Holy Bible Matthew 12:24).
By being such a blatant symbol for evil, the Lord of the Flies conveys one of the main themes of the novel; the malevolence that resides within man.
The name Samneric is a contraction of the two names Sam and Eric, the twin boys on the island. The fact that the two of them are seen by the other boys as one entity is part of the symbolism portrayed by Samneric. Samneric is a symbol for the weakness of human nature. The twins are entirely dependant on the strength and security of others, which explains why they tend to naturally gravitate towards each other, and allow themselves to be led by Ralph, the rational, reliable leader. However, the twins demonstrate their weakness more prominently when they submit to Jack and his hunters after being threatened. By being so acquiescent, Samneric demonstrates its significance as a symbol for the weakness of human nature and ease at which the human mind can be altered.
The signal fire in the novel burns on top of the mountain and represents the likeliness of the boys being rescued. Because of this, the fire is a symbol for the group’s connection to civilization. This connection is very fragile and crucial, and seems to be lost when the fire begins to weaken. Order nearly vanishes as the fire diminishes, as the boys lose sight of the importance of being rescued and revert to their savage nature. In this, the fire acts as a measurement of civilized sense remaining on the island.
Who represents the ego?
Who represents the superego?
What is the literal translation of Beelzebub, and what is its biblical significance?
Whose group does Samneric join by the end of the novel?
What happens when the fire goes out?
Piggy Ralph Lord of the Flies; devil/demon Jack & the hunters Chaos
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies . New York, New York: Penguin Group, 2006
The Holy Bible . Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Corporation, 2005.