The Super Ego in Golding's Lord of The Flies

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About this sample


Words: 573 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 573|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

In William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies, the three main characters, Ralph, Jack, and Piggy, represent different aspects of the human psyche. Ralph embodies the ego, the rational and logical part of the mind. Jack represents the id, the instinctual and impulsive part of the mind. However, it is the character of Piggy who embodies the superego, the moral and ethical part of the mind. Throughout the novel, Piggy's actions and beliefs align with the principles of the superego, demonstrating the importance of morality and conscience in a society without adult supervision.
Piggy's role as the voice of reason and morality is evident from the beginning of the novel. When the boys first gather on the island, it is Piggy who suggests the need for rules and order. He states, "We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages. We're English, and the English are best at everything" (Golding 42). This statement highlights Piggy's belief in the importance of societal norms and moral codes, which aligns with the principles of the superego. While the other boys are more interested in immediate gratification and fun, Piggy recognizes the need for structure and responsibility.
Furthermore, Piggy's intellectual capabilities and rational thinking also contribute to his embodiment of the superego. He is the only one who understands the necessity of building shelters and maintaining the signal fire for their potential rescue. Even when the other boys prioritize hunting and savagery, Piggy remains focused on the practical aspects of survival. This is evident when he chastises the boys for neglecting the signal fire, stating, "How can you expect to be rescued if you don't put first things first and act proper?" (Golding 94). Piggy's emphasis on responsibility and logical decision-making aligns with the superego's focus on societal values and long-term consequences.
In addition to his rationality, Piggy also exhibits a strong sense of morality and empathy. When Jack and his followers kill a mother pig, they leave its head on a stick as an offering to the "beast." However, Piggy is horrified by this act and urges the boys to consider the ethical implications. He says, "What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages? What's grown-ups going to think? Going off--hunting pigs--letting fires out--and now!" (Golding 143). Piggy's concern for the boys' behavior and its impact on their humanity reflects the superego's emphasis on moral conscience and societal expectations.
Furthermore, Piggy's physical appearance and vulnerability contribute to his role as the embodiment of the superego. He is overweight, wears glasses, and suffers from asthma, making him an easy target for the other boys' mockery and bullying. Despite this, Piggy consistently maintains his moral compass and refuses to succumb to the savagery of the island. His resilience in the face of adversity and his unwavering commitment to morality highlight his embodiment of the superego's principles.
In conclusion, Piggy's character in Lord of the Flies aligns with the principles of the superego, representing the moral and ethical part of the human psyche. Through his actions, beliefs, and vulnerability, Piggy highlights the importance of morality and conscience in a society without adult supervision. His rationality, intellectual capabilities, and empathy contribute to the overall theme of the novel, emphasizing the need for societal values and responsible decision-making. The character of Piggy serves as a reminder of the importance of the superego in maintaining order and preserving humanity in the face of chaos.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Faber and Faber, 1954.

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The Super Ego In Golding’s Lord Of The Flies. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
“The Super Ego In Golding’s Lord Of The Flies.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
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