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Example research essay topic: Lord Of The Flies Super Ego - 1,081 words

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Freud described the Ego as being like a rider on a horse (the Id), trying to hold the horse in check. It mediates between the Id and the outside world, in the sense of being aware both of the Id's energies and of what the outside world will allow. The Super Ego is a sort of conscience, the place where injunctions to behave properly, learned or inherited from people like parents, teachers and priests, reside. Freud says the person is the focal point of a struggle between our desires (Id), what is realistic (Ego), and the views of others (Super Ego). David B. Stevenson of Brown University is responsible for this quote that gives a simplistic idea of the Freudian Division of the Human Mind.

The description is fairly self-explanatory, but a better understanding of the three concepts can be made by thinking of Satan as the Id, Jesus as the Super Ego, and humans as the ego, caught between the two forces. In William Golding's novel, Lord of the Flies, these Freudian concepts can be applied to the characters of Jack, Piggy, Simon, and Ralph. Jack fits into the concept of the Id overpowering the Ego and Super Ego, as is seen in his violent urges and carrying out of killing things and the negative steps he takes in getting there. Piggy and Simon fit into the concept of the Super Ego, in the sense that Piggy is logical and proper in his actions, and Simon cares about other people and is empathetic and good-willed in his ways.

Ralph fits into the concept of the Ego, as he is caught between the Super Ego (Piggy and Simon) and the Id (Jack). Ralph knows what is right and what is wrong, but at times he can be mean or not feel sorry for people. An in-depth analysis of how each character exemplifies each Freudian division is well deserved. To begin with, the Id is what provides the most primal urges and instinctual drives that want to fulfill desires, even if those desires are not allowed or are looked down upon by society. Jack well embodies the Id, as his main goal on the island is to Kill the pig! Cut her throat!

Bash her in (page 75)! This is obviously very violent and primal, not too useful, and is meant as a source of joy or pleasure. It is bad enough to have the desire to kill things, but it is entirely another to actually do it. Not for the first time, Jack does so to a mother sow, her belly was fringed with a row of piglets that slept or burrowed and squeaked (page 134). Jack was on top of the sow, stabbing downward with his knife then [he] found the throat and the hot blood spouted over his hands (page 135). This is horrifically awful: the pig is a mother and is nursing piglets, the death of any pig on the island is unnecessary, as there is plenty of fruit to survive on and fish is caught periodically as well, and even if the death of a pig was necessary, it doesnt have to be killed in such a violent manner as this.

The Id does not solely have to do with violence and killing, however, it encompasses all drives that demand immediate gratification, despite the consequences. You go away, Ralph. You keep to your end. This is my end and my tribe.

You leave me alone (page 176). Jack says this after he has recently broken away from Ralph and formed a tribe of his own. This statement by Jack is by no means violent or very threatening, but it does show the Id being the most powerful Freudian division in Jack. By breaking away, Jack is disregarding the fact that he is destroying the islands society and decreasing their chances of rescue and survival, simply so he may feel more powerful; that is the Id at work. Another Freudian Division of the Human Mind is the Super Ego. This is the [Division] which reasons, masters impulses and generally controls the environment around it.

It helps us come to terms with reality, with the world as it is. Another quote from David B. Stevenson, it well summarizes the Freudian concept of the Super Ego. In Lord of the Flies, the two characters that best support this concept are Piggy and Simon. Though two very different characters, they both have the same basic principles. Piggy, to begin with, is considered to be logical and intelligent; he thinks things through.

I cant think. Not like Piggy Piggy could think. He could go step by step inside that fat head of his, only Piggy was no chief. But Piggy, for all his ludicrous body, had brains (page 78). The ability to think things through logically is a characteristic of the Super Ego. Another Super Ego-based character in the book is Simon.

He is bright, but not in a book smart kind of way. Simon can comprehend emotions and understand the way people feel. He does something about people who are treated poorly and sees the true or good side of things. After the first pig is killed and cooked by Jack, he distributes meat to everybody except Piggy, whom he dislikes. Being the kind person he is, Simon shoved his piece of meat over the rocks to Piggy, who grabbed it (page 74).

He is laughed at and looked down upon for this, but it was the right thing to do. Simon sees the good of the island physically, as he often visits an enclosed clearing in the jungle where Nothing moved but a pair of gaudy butterflies danced round each other[and] the white tips of the flowers rose delicately to meet the open air (page 57). Jack (the Id) obviously doesnt appreciate this area as it is the place where he later murders the mother pig. Piggy and Simon well-exemplify the Freudian concept of the Super Ego. The third and final Freudian Division of the Human Mind is the Ego. The character from Lord of the Flies that best embodies the concept of the Ego is Ralph.

Ralph is by no means evil or cruel like Jack (the Id), but he does not think logically in a manner considering what society allows or fully understand human emotions like Piggy or Simon (the Super Egos). He is a force that is caught between the two. The Ego is ruled by th...


Free research essays on topics related to: human mind, ego, lord of the flies, super ego, david b

Research essay sample on Lord Of The Flies Super Ego

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