Lord of the Flies Culminating Activity: Unveiling Minds

Lord of the Flies Culminating Activity

This culminating activity is designed to encapsulate the students’ journey through Lord of the Flies, emphasizing psychoanalytic themes. They have explored the depths of human nature, society, and the psychological undercurrents that drive behavior through William Golding’s narrative. Now, it’s time to showcase their insights through a dual-format assessment: a comprehensive presentation and a detailed essay. This activity will assess their grasp of psychoanalytic concepts within the novel and their ability to articulate and analyze these ideas effectively.

Learning Goals

  • I will be able to analyze and interpret the role of fear and the unconscious mind in the behavior of the boys stranded on the island, demonstrating how these elements contribute to their descent into savagery. 
  • I will be able to articulate the effects of isolation and trauma on the boys, utilizing psychoanalytic theories of regression and defense mechanisms to support my analysis.
  • I will be able to craft a well-structured essay and presentation that connects the themes of Lord of the Flies to psychoanalytic theory, incorporating evidence from the text and scholarly sources to support my arguments.


Lord of the Flies Culminating Activity

The culminating activity for this course contains two parts:

  1. A Presentation
  2. An essay

After reading Lord of the Flies, you must complete each part.

To Begin, Choose a Topic from the following list:

  1. The Id, Ego, and Superego in “Lord of the Flies”: Analyze how the characters of Ralph, Piggy, and Jack represent Freud’s theory of the id, ego, and superego. Discuss how these psychological constructs interact and conflict within the novel’s island society.
  2. Fear and the Unconscious Mind: Explore the role of fear in “Lord of the Flies” and how it can be interpreted as a manifestation of the characters’ unconscious minds. Consider how fear influences the boys’ decisions and their descent into savagery.
  3. Regression in the Face of Trauma: Analyze how the isolation and traumatic experiences on the island cause the boys to regress to more primitive states of behavior. Use psychoanalytic theories on trauma and regression to support your analysis.
  4. The Symbolism of the Beast: Explore the beast as a symbol of the unconscious fears and desires of the boys. Discuss how this symbol reflects Freudian notions of the uncanny and the return of repressed content.
  5. Loss of Identity and the Collective Unconscious: Discuss how the boys’ loss of individual identity and their merging into a collective group reflect Carl Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious. Analyze how symbols and archetypes from the collective unconscious appear in the novel.
  6. Defense Mechanisms in Action: Identify and analyze the use of psychological defense mechanisms (e.g., denial, projection, rationalization) by the characters in “Lord of the Flies.” Discuss how these mechanisms influence their behavior and relationships.
  7. The Role of Eros and Thanatos: Examine the themes of life (Eros) and death (Thanatos) drives within the novel. Analyze how these opposing forces influence the characters’ actions and the narrative’s outcome.
  8. Psychoanalytic Symbolism of the Island: Treat the island itself as a psychoanalytic symbol representing the human mind, with its idyllic exterior and underlying darkness. Analyze how the island’s geography and features correspond to different aspects of the human psyche.
  9. William Golding’s Experiences: Explore how William Golding’s personal experiences, particularly his service in the Royal Navy during World War II, influenced the psychoanalytic themes presented in “Lord of the Flies.” Discuss how Golding’s firsthand encounters with the darkness and complexity of human nature may have shaped his portrayal of the unconscious mind, aggression, and the instinctual drives within the novel. 

Your presentation will be marked as follows:

  • Content   /20
  • Slideshow   /10
  • Speaking   /10

Your presentation must be between 5 and 10 minutes. You will be timed, so it is important to fall within that range. 

Your presentation must relay what you learned about psychoanalysis in Lord of the Flies. You can speak about any aspect(s) of psychoanalysis that you want, but it should, for the most part, reflect the contents of your essay. 

Be sure to include a title and introduction slide.

As you prepare your presentation, remember the things from the previous presentation you did in class. 

  • Keep your slides clean and high-contrast.
  • Don’t put too much information on a slide.
  • Don’t read off of the slides
  • Speak clearly
  • Address the audience


Your essay will be marked out of 50. You will be marked by:

  • MLA format    /10
  • Mechanics     /10
  • Knowledge of Lord of the Flies     /10
  • Connection to Psychoanalysis    /10
  • Logical Development   /10

Your essay must:

  • Be in MLA Format
  • Reference a minimum of five sources, including Lord of the Flies
  • Be between 750 – 1000 words

Join our Community!

Sign up for our weekly roundup of new content on The Cautiously Optimistic Teacher. We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Scroll to Top