Jack : Id : : Ralph : Ego

Jack : Id : : Ralph : Ego
by: Writer in the Dark

     The id, ego, and super ego, are all directly comparable to characters in William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies. The most obvious comparison would be jack and the id. The id is completely driven by pleasure instinct. Jack is motivated similarly. Throughout the book, Jack only wants to hunt and play games, one of which ended up in the death of someone. The id, if not restrained, would result in destruction and even self destruction for the purpose of primal pleasure and instinct, particularly sexual instinct. In Lord of the Flies, when Jack and his followers were stabbing the pig, it was a reference to sex, in turn referencing Jack to the id through destruction and sex.
     Ralph compares to the ego, as he establishes order right away and follows a logical plan of action. The ego restrains the id and channels the desires from the id through logic. This is the same role Ralph played in the novel. Ralph had to satisfy the wants and needs of the entire group and maintain order; meanwhile, Jack was encouraging chaos. Ralph did this very well; he established rules and kept the colony intact for a while. He kept his sight on future goals, such as getting rescued. He insisted that the fire be kept burning as a distress signal and that only the people with the conch shell at meetings could speak. This kept order, as the ego is meant to.
     Finally, Piggy is compared to the superego, looking out for the best interests of the entire group, keeping everything equal. Piggy was always very moral and conscientious throughout the novel. Ironically though, in the novel, Piggy was not at all treated equally by Jack. Jack resented him. This is a strange reversal of roles from the relationship between the id and the superego. The superego is a control agent for the id, but Piggy did not succeed in controlling Jack at all. Jack had power over Piggy to a great extent, which would be expected in reality, but the id does not have power over the superego or the ego, which was the major deciding element for the end of the book.
     In the human mind, the ego and superego both have a good degree of control over the id, in order to keep it contained. Otherwise it would cause way too much destruction and may lead to self-destruction. In Lord of the Flies, however, Ralph and Piggy did not have enough control over Jack to contain his destruction and eventually he took over the group and cause extreme damage. This was the difference between the Freudian theory and the novel. Had Piggy and Ralph had control over Jack as the ego and superego have over the id, the novel would not have ended so tragically. If the superego and the ego did not have proper control over the id, the human mind would destroy itself and others, as Jack did when not controlled by Piggy and Ralph.

1