Pieces of the Puzzle: the Island as a Macrocosm of ManIn viewing the various aspects of the island society in Golding's Lord ofthe Flies as a symbolic microcosm of society, a converse perspective mustalso be considered. Golding's island of marooned youngsters then becomes amacrocosm, wherein the island represents the individual human and thevarious characters and symbols the elements of the human psyche. As such,Golding's world of children's morals and actions then becomes a survey ofthe human condition, both individually and collectively.Almost textbook in their portrayal, the primary characters of Jack, Ralphand Piggy are then best interpreted as Freud's very concepts of id, ego andsuperego, respectively. As the id of the island, Jack's actions are themost blatantly driven by animalistically rapacious gratification needs.
Indiscovering the thrill of the hunt, his pleasure drive is emphasized,purported by Freud to be the basic human need to be gratified. In much thesame way, Golding's portrayal of a hunt as a rape, with the boys ravenouslyjumping atop the pig and brutalizing it, alludes to Freud's basis of thepleasure drive in the libido, the term serving a double Lntendre in itspsychodynamic and physically sensual sense.Jack's unwillingness to acknowledge the conch as the source of centrality onthe island and Ralph as the seat of power is consistent with the portrayalof his particular self-importance. Freud also linked the id to what hecalled the destructive drive, the aggressiveness of self-ruin. Jack'santithetical lack of compassion for nature, for others, and ultimately forhimself is thoroughly evidenced in his needless hunting, his role in thebrutal murders of Simon and Piggy, and finally in his burning of the entireisland, even at the cost of his own life.In much the same way, Piggy's demeanor and very character links him to thesuperego, the conscience factor in Freud's model of the psyche. Goldingmarks Piggy with the distinction of being more intellectually mature thanthe others, branding him with a connection to a higher authority: theoutside world.
It is because the superego is dependent on outside supportthat Piggy fares the worst out of the three major characters in theisolation of the island.Piggy is described as being more socially compatible with adults, andcarries himself with a sense of rationale and purpose that often serves asRalph's moral compass in crisis; although Ralph initially uses the conch tocall the others, it is Piggy who possesses the knowledge to blow it as asignal despite his inability to do so. Similarly, Piggy's glasses are theonly artifact of outside technology on the island, further indication of hiscorrelation to greater moral forces. In an almost gothic vein, these sameglasses are the only source of fire on the island, not only necessary forthe boys' rescue, but responsible for their ultimate destruction. Thus doesfire,.