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.