Viewpoint Essay, Research Paper
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
stated by Maslow. You need to have physiological safety at the top. Every
one of the boys filled this need first. Ralph was looking around checking
things out when Piggy caught up to him. He was looking around to see if
there was anything that would pose a threat to him. He was making sure
that his safety came first.
Then to go on the second group of Maslow?s
hierarchy of human needs. Which are belongingness or love and esteem. This
is what came next in the book after all the boys are all right they began
to look for each other. Piggy was the first example illustrated in ?Lord
of the flies?. As soon as he ran into Ralph he asked his name and tried
to become friends with him. Piggy is trying to fit in with Ralph. He wants
to belong. This is true of all the other kids on the island as well. Piggy
and Ralph find a conch in the water on the island. A conch is a shell that
in this case is white and can be blown in to make a loud noise similar
to a trumpet. The conch was blown as a signal to let the other lost boys
know where they were. This also refers to Maslow?s first need, safety.
This is demonstrated by the blowing of the conch. This would not have been
done if the kids did not feel safe. If they were insecure about their safety,
they would have kept quiet and out of the road. Where they would not have
been found. In other words they would of hid. When the conch was blown
the other kids came and they had a meeting. Everyone was there showing
that they all wanted to belong. If they did not want to belong, they would
have stayed off by themselves or not have joined in on the meeting. Not
only that, but after the meeting started the boy decided to elect a leader
of the group. This demonstrates that the feeling of belonging and love
as pointed out on Maslow chart did happen with this group of boys. They
would only need a leader if they were going to stay together and be a group.
The final category on Maslow?s hierarchy
of needs it self-actualization. This doesn?t really happen in the book.
The closest thing to it would be at the end of the book when Ralph realizes
that he had not fulfilled his unique potential. This happens after Jack
and some of the other savages come to Ralph?s side of the island and raid
their camp taking Piggy glasses. The glasses were significant in the fact
that they were the only way on the island to start a fire. After they were
stolen from the camp he realized that he did not make a good leader and
let things fall apart. The only other character in the book that may have
reached this point is Jack; it is unlikely that he ever made it that far
though. Jack found the something that he was skilled at. His skill was
hunting. Jack then used his skill and found it valuable to win over the
other kids on the island to make a new group and make him the leader of
it. After some time and conflict Jack had everyone on the island under
his command or killed them. The only exception to this was Ralph who barely
avoided the same fate.
My final psychology reference is not to
any specific point in the book, but to it in general. This assignment is
being done as a report from secondary a source. This is a method used by
a psychologist to gather information about a study that they are performing.
In doing this report I gathered my information from a secondary source
to come up with my findings throughout this paper. I have therefore performed
an important function of becoming a psychologist. I have identified and
performed a specific research method. I cannot back this point up by citing
an example from the book, only that all the information gathered above
was done in this way.
I found the book ?Lord of the Flies? by
William Golding to be a very interesting tale. The book integrated many
different aspects of psychology. It proves that stereotyping can be a useful
and not so useful aid in your deduction of personality types. This was
proven when Piggy trusted Ralph in the beginning when they became great
friends. The later was also proven when Ralph trusted Jack off the back
and put him in charge of a group. Jack later took over and tried to kill
Ralph. The book also illustrated Maslow?s hierarchy of needs. It showed
that what Maslow ranked as most important to least important was proven
in what happen on the island. There were many other psychological aspects
demonstrated in the book that I did not discuss in this paper. I tried
to pick out the ones that I found most interesting and entertaining to
write about. I hope I brought up some new and unique points to think about.