In viewing the various aspects of the island society in Golding's Lord of
the Flies as a symbolic microcosm of society, a converse perspective must
also be considered. Golding's island of marooned youngsters then becomes a
macrocosm, wherein the island represents the individual human and the
various characters and symbols the elements of the human psyche. As such,
Golding's world of children's morals and actions then becomes a survey of
the human condition, both individually and collectively.
Almost textbook in their portrayal, the primary characters of Jack, Ralph
and Piggy are then best interpreted as Freud's very concepts of id, ego and
superego, respectively. As the id of the island, Jack's actions are the
most blatantly driven by animalistically rapacious gratification needs. In
discovering the thrill of the hunt, his pleasure drive is emphasized,
purported by Freud to be the basic human need to be gratified. In much the
same way, Golding's portrayal of a hunt as a rape, with the boys ravenously
jumping atop the pig and brutalizing it, alludes to Freud's basis of the
pleasure drive in the libido, the term serving a double Lntendre in its
psychodynamic and physically sensual sense.
Jack's unwillingness to acknowledge the conch as the source of centrality on
the island and Ralph as the seat of power is consistent with the portrayal
of his particular self-importance. Freud also linked the id to what he
called the destructive drive, the aggressiveness of self-ruin. Jack's
antithetical lack of compassion for nature, for others, and ultimately for
himself is thoroughly evidenced in his needless hunting, his role in the
brutal murders of Simon and Piggy, and finally in his burning of the entire
island, even at the cost of his own life.
In much the same way, Piggy's demeanor and very character links him to...