Wednesday, June 11, 2014

D Block English I-H: Lord of the Flies & Jung's Shadow

Please click here to read an article regarding Carl Jung's "shadow" concept. You are also free to visit any other sites you deem worthy. Once you have a solid understanding of the concept, answer the prompt below in a well-developed response. Paste and post your response as a comment to this post. The AP timed response rubric will be used for grading.

How is Jung's shadow represented in the text? How does Golding utilize this representation to reflect his thinking about humanity in general (allegory)?


Haley Elliott said...

Upon analysing Jung’s theory of “the shadow”, one can infer that Golding utilizes the theory to create the allegorical novel Lord of the Flies, which portrays all the flaws, downfalls and savageness that can be found in humanity.
The general idea of Jung’s “shadow” is that a person’s cynical qualities resides in the darkest part of our personality. According to Jung, the shadow “tends to consist predominantly of the primitive, negative, socially, or religiously depreciated human emotions and impulses like sexual lust, power strivings, selfishness, greed, envy, anger or rage, and due to its unenlightened nature, completely obscured from consciousness.”. The shadow is created when a person casts off these “evil, inferior or unacceptable” qualities. However, the characteristics of this alternate persona can amplify when a person tries to hide the shadow and cast it off farther away. A person can also project their shadow onto others. Projecting is when “unconsciously casting it into others so as to avoid confronting it in oneself.”.

Molly Daniels said...

Upon further analysis, Golding embodies Carl Jung’s shadow theory in a micro society to allegorically represent the flaws in society he feels are most harmful. The shadow represents the unconscious aspects of the negative flaws in someone’s character.

On the island, each of the boys is but a shadow of themselves—their character is flawed and it could be said each of them represents the negative aspects of human personalities. Golding is believed to have used two major philosopher’s theories to display the deterioration of humanity into savagery after time and the dependence of success upon human morals. As philosopher Milgram displayed in his experiment, many humans will go far past the point of humanity to obey. He “recruited a group of volunteers, and divided them up. One played a Learner, one played a Teacher, one played an Experimenter, and another played an Assistant. The teacher would ask the learner a series of questions. If the learner answered incorrectly, the experimenter would direct the assistant to shock the learner with a certain number of volts, with an increment of fifteen. The maximum voltage was 450 volts. The special thing about the experiment was that when the assistant pressed the button, he or she believed that he was really electrocuting the learner, when in fact nothing was happening.” (Milgram’s Theories and Experiments)

This ties into how Jack’s clan deteriorated into a group of savages only at Jack’s orders, without realizing or comprehending the brutality of their actions. As the volunteers were willing to electrocute the people just because the experimenters told them too, the boys followed Jack’s orders mindlessly, because they told him too. This relates to Jung’s essential shadow theory, in that the unconscious and conscious are separate things and the negative aspects are separate from the consciousness. In Dr. George Boeree’s words, it “derives from our pre-human, animal past, when our concerns were limited to survival and reproduction, and when we weren’t self-conscious.” The boys, in the time on the island, degraded from superior, English boys, to a group of savages intent on killing and hunting. Their most common quote was, “"Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!” which displays their increasing savagery and brutality. The shadow is the primal part of the human and understands only simple needs such as hunger, anger, lust, etc. Golding wrote Lord of the Flies to represent society’s flaws and how they will ultimately cause the downfall of humanity. Jack embraces his shadow, becoming the most violent and bloodthirsty boy on the island. Golding displays his acceptance of his shadow through embodying his shadow in his multiple “faces”. He uses face paint, “planning his new face” and therefore allowing his shadow to overcome him. As the article states, “authentic spirituality requires consciously accepting and relating properly to the shadow as opposed to repressing, projecting, acting out and remaining naively unconscious of its repudiated, denied, disavowed contents, a sort of precarious pseudospirituality.” Due to the heavy religious influence on the book, Jack is established as the devil figure when he achieves spiritual authenticity by accepting his shadow.

As Jack is established as the devil figure, Piggy is the embodied martyr or scapegoat. He is the projection of the shadow. “The pervasive Freudian defense mechanism known as projection is how most people deny their shadow, unconsciously casting it onto others so as to avoid confronting it in oneself.”

Alex McFaun said...

Alex McFaun
D Block English

Carl Jung’s representation of the shadow is used many times by William Golding throughout Lord of the Flies. The concept of the shadow is that a person’s shadow represents the darker side of themselves and that it is capable of coming out in anyone. This is seen multiple times in Lord of the Flies. The first instance is when Jack starts his own group to counter Ralph’s. Jack wanted to be chief from the very beginning but Ralph won the vote. Jack tolerated Ralph’s leadership and his ideas about order with things such as the conch as well as other things, but eventually Jack couldn’t take it anymore and decided to branch off and make his own group where he can lead. Jack has already unleashed his shadow and when he brings more people into his new group he slowly unleashes their shadows as well. Simon’s death is the first example of the rest of Jack’s group unleashing their shadows. Of Jack’s group Simon was the only one who hadn’t unleashed his shadow, so he had the sense the check on the man they thought was the beast and prove that it was just a regular man. While doing this he gets tangled in the parachute that the man used and Jack’s group, having lost all sense because they were so paranoid about the beast because Jack made them that way, stabbed Simon and killed him. Piggy’s death is also an example of Jack’s group unleashing their shadows. Piggy, Ralph, Sam and Eric were the only ones that hadn’t gone to Jack’s group and that didn’t sit well with Jack they tried to steal Piggy’s glasses and even had boulders set up if one of Ralph’s group members tried to get close to them. Piggy did and so Jack’s group, being almost brainwashed by Jack to the point of no return at this point, fired a boulder at Piggy and he fell forty feet and cracked his head open and died. Jack was the first to unleash his shadow and then he started to unleash everyone else’s.
Jung’s representation of the shadow also tells a lot about the allegory of Lord of the Flies. It shows Golding’s thoughts on society in the sense that he believes that everyone has a breaking point and that eventually everyone will turn on each other. The fact that Golding had Piggy and Simon, two of the main characters, die also shows the fact that he believes no one is safe and that you can never really be sure of who you trust. The conch breaking in chapter eleven after having been there since the beginning show that Golding believes that peace and order will not last forever no matter how hard you try to keep it. Golding also uses a survival of the fittest sense because Jack and his group take out any one they think is a threat but they can’t get to Ralph because he outsmarts them in a sense. Lord of the Flies is William Golding’s way of showing that its everyman for themselves regardless of the situation.

Anonymous said...

Erina Varela
Carl Jung’s concept of the “shadow” that lives within all of us is expressed as not a true evil, but so much as something that we must learn to deal with in our lives. Not something that keeps our eyes open till the latest hours because it will suddenly come to haunt us, but a gradual happening when we allow these shadows to take over ourselves when presented with our secret fears, our not so secret fears, and when enough is just too much. The individual the shadow has taken over knows it has to bear the consequences it has brought not only to himself, but to those around him. After the deed is done, he or she knows what has happened, what it has allowed itself to become. Because this is such engulfment of the human essence, William Golding the author of Lord of the Flies felt as though this very concept was needed to be expressed in a way that was not deemed “boring” or just another thesis on human nature, but in a way that after the readers finished the last sentence, they left with something more than a good story.
Every word was necessary and vital to such a story where this allegorical figure, the “shadow” becomes apparent to even the most illiterate reader, who may not think of ways in which the author thinks but can relate to the degradation of such a society run by these proper English boys upon themselves. They may be able to point out and say how personal experiences are much like the breakdown of what was supposed to be a utopian society. Readers can see how so many different boys with all different backgrounds and characteristics can be themselves at so many points in their lives. So we can see how the movie might have not been the best way to express this critically acclaimed allegorical novel. Golding’s words were not meant to be used to show a bunch of naked boys running around cursing each other in a motion pictures because yes, it does show the falling of society but the attention of detail to the way Simon peacefully floated away, the jungle full of creepers entangling them, and the constant motif of the ocean cannot be expressed in a way that the effect would be different for everyone.
Why would the effect be different for everyone? This is because the shadow is not identical, it takes the worst parts of our unique selves as we push it far into the deepest parts that we do not want to be seen, only to have it come out gradually, then all at once. So when this happens to the boys it takes a toll on each of them differently as seen by Ralph and Jack, it connects us to book and it’s allegorical shadow all in the way the shadow affect us in our life the most.

Kathryn Ward said...

Demonstrating the theory of the archetypal shadow in the novel, Lord of the Flies, Golding utilizes demonic imagery, evasive dialogue, and menacing characterization to illustrate the hidden layers of human nature Jung has created.

To begin with, throughout the novel Golding uses a vast amount of imagery. Within the descriptive layers of the island’s scenery lies devilish imagery. When Simon first discovered the Lord of the Flies, “there were no shadows under the trees but everywhere a pearly stillness, so that what was real seemed illusive and without definition…[The flies] were black and iridescent green and without number; and in front of Simon, the Lord of the Flies hung on his stick and grinned,” (138, Golding). Due to the lack of shadows, the Lord of the Flies could be thought of as the darkness in Simon’s world of light. By the dead pig’s grin and reference to Beelzebub, a Christian reference to the devil, the Lord of the flies represents a dark entity. In addition, the shadow, “tends to consist predominantly of the primitive, negative, socially or religiously depreciated human emotion,” such as the boys killing the sow in chapter eight. (Jung) The mother was, “struck down by heat, the sow fell and the hunters hurled themselves at her. This dreadful eruption from an unknown world made her frantic; she squealed and bucked and the air was full of sweat and noise and blood and terror.” (135, Golding). The emotions in “the air” were primitive and impulsive by using imagery of the most basic survival instincts of fleeing and killing. The imagery used in the novel demonstrates the levels of the shadow hidden in society.

Additionally, the diction between characters represent the fundamentals of the shadow. Jack uses projection, or, “unconsciously casting it onto others so as to avoid confronting it in oneself.” (Jung) By stating: “This head is for the beast. It’s a gift,”(137); Jack shifts the blame of their actions onto the everpresent beast. Instead of reflecting on his murderous actions, Jack denies that it had to be done for the monster that haunts their dreams. Jack also seems, “driven by the dissociated yet undaunted shadow.” (Jung) He tells Roger to, “sharpen a stick at both ends.” (136) By saying this Roger’s spear is now weapon designed for killing, creating a darker diction of Jack represented by the shadow inside of the new chief. The shadow inside Jack is found throughout his language in the novel.

Finally, the characters in Lord of the Flies can demonstrate the philosophy of the shadow. The darkness can be described as a, “primordial part of our human inheritance,” which is demonstrated with the hunters on the island. The boys wear face paint and even call their leader chief which refers to the primitive tribes of ancient people. By going backwards in society, the boys are displaying the shadow inside of them. In addition, Roger is described as “‘a terror,’” by sam and Eric. (189) Roger, the boy who couldn’t make himself throw rocks at one of the littluns, is now feared by his own tribemates because of the darkness that has taken over him. The characterization in The Lord of the Flies, shows the deeper sense of the shadow that lies in us all.
By the use of imagery, dialogue, and characterization, the philosophy of the shadow is illustrated throughout the novel. With murderous scenes, demonic diction, and devilish characterization, the theme of a shadow is within the story. Even though we only saw the shadows of characters, it can be assumed that the shadow can consume our souls as well.

Kambrynn Bowman said...

Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, is an allegorical tale of society. Golding constructs characters from polished English backgrounds. However, after a plane crash, the boys slowly become contaminated with savagery. On the island, the boys disobey rules and spiral out of control. Evil, angry, greedy, or selfish characteristics are displayed by most of the boys at least once in the novel. The fictitious boys are not the only things that possess these qualities. Every single human being is born with undesirable aspects. Society quickly tells them to cover them up; those kinds of emotions are not praised in society. Not wanting to disappoint one’s community, man hides these frowned upon feelings, but they always remain with us. This ties into Jung’s concept of a shadow. The “’dark-side’ of our personality” is what Jung called the “shadow” (Diamond). Because our wicked actions are human nature, we always carry them around with us, like a shadow. Golding’s characters had a shadow, just like you or I have. As they became more and more disconnected from humanity, their shadows slowly empowered them. The forbidden part of them became their only part. Once the shadow was in control of the boys, chaos broke loose. Killing pigs took priority over fire and shelter. Weapons created by the boys were used to murder one of their own. The boys became enwrapped in their shadows and quickly fell into savagery. Golding created a story with the plot of what happens when your “shadow” is the only thing people see.

Courtney Toomey said...

Courtney Toomey
June 22, 2014
"The shadow" Blog response

In his article Essential Secrets of Psychotherapy: What is the "Shadow"?, Stephen Diamond talks about an ever present collective unconscious alter-ego known as "the shadow". It is represented in the text as a collection of feelings, emotions, and personality that humanity suppresses from others in order to keep a positive reputation or life in general. Diamond states that whatever is qualified as "evil", "unacceptable", or whatever we "deny in ourselves becomes part of the shadow". He also refers to psychiatrist C.G. Jung and Jungian analyst Aniela Jaffe throughout his article, and cites Jaffe in saying "the shadow is the 'sum of all personal and collective psychic elements which [...] are denied expression in life.'" It is said that when frequently repressed, the shadow becomes more "destructive, insidious, and dangerous". Relating this topic to literature, William Golding uses "the shadow" concept in his novel, The Lord Of the Flies. He created his characters based on the symbolism that they represented humanity itself. When Jack and his savages kill Simon, Piggy, and hunt down Ralph, Golding is portraying his belief that once removed from civilization for a certain amount of time, the shadow will take over. After it controls the body, all traces of goodness are gone, and the person reverts back "into the realm of our animal ancestors". In Robert Louis Stevenson's classic The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Henry Jekyll is taken over by his evil shadow, Edward, who is "depraved, nefarious, psychopathic [and] wicked". William Golding's Jack can also be described in that way towards the end of the book. Golding uses the shadow idea in his book to remind people that we all have an alter ego that needs to be treated with respect and a creative consciousness. Stephen Diamond and William Golding have created unique and remarkably accurate representations of "the shadow" archetype to bring to the world of modern literature.
(I guess that it refuses to italicize book titles and such now)

Jen Petrilli said...

A shadow, persona, or dark side is viewed a separate entity that holds the maniacal traits incompatible with the person it resides in. The shadow is ‘‘that hidden, repressed, for the most part inferior and guilt-laden personality” Within the novel Lord of The Flies, Golding applies withering imagery and metamorphosing characterization to reveal the properties of the boys’ hellish dark sides.

Through imagery, we see perfect facades melting away to unveil the undisclosed desires of the school boys. The primitive nature the children regressed to is often shown through descriptions of their appearance. Jack, who was once “chorister and head boy” eventually morphed into his dark side as an “awesome stranger”. His shadow is displayed as a savage hunter, thirsting for violence and gore. This physical presentation of Jack’s newfound barbaric manner is a revelation of Jack’s dark side. We also see the littluns undergo this change as they apply the clays to their face. The imagery of the transformed boys displays a physical image of their personas, but other elements better display their internal aspects.

Golding uses skillful characterization to clearly show the slow reveal of the boy’s different sides. When it comes to Piggy, a repressed emotion unveiled through his character is being outspoken. Early on in the novel, it seems that Piggy is the intelligent and shy type. However, as time progressed, he became outspoken and proudly spoke what he was thinking. Another character whose shadow is shown through characterization is Jack. While physical attributions gave us a vivid image of his persona, his characterization is the true factor of his shadow. Jack’s character at the beginning of the novel is a prim and proper school boy and head of the choir. However, as the story proceeds, Jack begins to act barbarically, slaughtering pigs and painting his face. The further Jack’s innocence fades, the more brutal he becomes. He escalates from decapitating pigs to crushing ironically named Piggy with a boulder. Of all characters whose shadows come to life through characterization, the most prevalent is Jack.