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Pieces of the Puzzle: the Island as a Macrocosm of Man

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:28 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 39 
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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,...

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