Lord of the Flies from a Psychology Viewpoint


In the book, ?Lord of the Flies? by William Golding, there were many things that happened that relate well to what we have been doing in Psychology 181. There were several times when I found myself relating what we learned in class to the situation that the group of boys in the book found themselves in. The knowledge that I have learned has helped me understand and try to figure out why some of the characters acted the way they did. I found the whole thing very interesting.

In this report I will demonstrate what I have found to be some of the most interesting points of psychology that were incorporated in ?Lord of the Flies?. This will prove to be a difficult, but inspiring task. The first thing I noticed was we stereotype people as soon as we meet them. Another, interesting psychological finding that was in the book was that the boys had to fill the basic need. This relates to Maslow?s hierarchy of human needs. Finally, in doing this report I get to incorporate another interesting point of psychology. That is that I am doing a report from secondary source in perspective of the boys on the island. That is with the assumption that the book is a true story that happened to this group of kids.

Stereotyping played a big part in the book. From the first setting, well the first page, there was stereotyping going on. This played a big part in the book as it does in our everyday lives. The story line of the book is that there is a plane full of young boys flying over an ocean. When the plane goes down hitting an island and some of the boys make it, none of the adults do.

This leaves the boy on an island to survive while they wait to be rescued. In the opening act of the book the stereotyping begins. There is a kid (Ralph) who is walking on the island when he meets up with another kid (Johnny better known as Piggy). Piggy makes an assumption about Ralph before they hardly meet. Piggy puts trust in Ralph by telling him a nickname that he had in school and hated. Piggy did all these things before he knew Ralph based on a stereotype than he could trust Ralph. Piggy also told Ralph what to do in order to be the leader of the group. In this example you have to assume that Piggy was stereotyping Ralph. He did not know anything about Ralph and yet he told him many personal things.

Another example of stereotyping was when Ralph meets Jack. Jack was another member of the plane on the island. Jack was at the first meeting and thought that they should have a leader. He wanted to be elected, but the group voted and elected Ralph as the leader. Immediately, Ralph put Jack in charge of a group of boys. He did this by stereotyping that Jack was a natural leader. He also got to avoid the initial conflict that might have occurred sooner if Jack had not had power over something. This is another fine example of stereotyping. Stereotyping helps us out in our everyday lives. It helps us make generalizations about people this is not necessarily a good or bad deal. It is good in that it helps us keep things sorted out in our minds. It also helps us to act in a proper way around different kinds of people according to social norms. Stereotyping can also create a negative affecting that; it can create wrong impressions about people. This can do many things; it can lead to embarrassment by acting differently around ?different? kinds of people; it can lead to unfair or bias opinions about a certain groups or types of people. Stereotyping is a big part of everyone?s day-to-day life.

My second psychological reference leads me to Maslow?s hierarchy of human needs. This comes up because the boys are on an unfamiliar island and all they have is the clothes on their backs. This means that on the island, there is nothing to fill any of their need. For the most part none of the kids even knew each other. This leads me to the first part of Maslow?s findings. Which is that of the human needs