Epstein notes that the function of this force is to ensure the survival of the individual and argues that one could "find this great basic drive defined as underlying the most fundamental conclusions of modern thought" (205-206). The rational force of the human psyche predominates over the anarchic or irrational force of the psyche under "normal" circumstances, but under threatening or extemely stressful situations, dark,
irrational impulses are unleashed and behavior becomes erratic or violent. The dramatic situation in which the characters of Lord of the Flies are placed is an excellent vehicle for exploring the opposing forces of the rational and the irrational and the societal and personal conflicts these opposing forces create.
Initally, Ralph's and Piggy's actions are charateristic of an ordered society. They call an assembly to formulate plans for building shelters, obtaining food, and building a rescue fire. In his essay, "William Golding's Lord of the Flies," Samuel Hynes asserts that "this rational society begins to break down almost at once, under two instinctual pressures - fear and blood lust"(16). The childrens' fear of the "beast" they eventually believe truly exists and the hunters' obsession with killing a pig are the primary causes for the disintegration of rational society on the isla