The Lord is My Jack Shephard: From System and Spectacle to Sacred Story, Part III

You may be ‘lost’ (forgive the horrible pun) without reading Part I and Part II!

From Faith in Himself to Faith in The Island

The story of Lost begins with Jack Shephard’s eye snapping open. He is lying on his back in a dense bamboo forest, wearing a torn suit; his body scratched and bleeding. He is in shock, confused, and alone. A golden retriever runs from deep in the jungle to lick him awake, and soon he is running through the bamboo reeds until he reaches the beach, the site of the horrific crash. Jack, the decisive, self-reliant spinal surgeon, immediately begins doing what he has been trying to do ever since he was a small boy: save everyone. He pulls people from burning wreckage, gives a woman CPR, and moves others safely out of the way of falling debris. He spends the next three months maintaining his role as the survivors’ hero – he tends to people’s wounds, finds the transceiver in the cockpit deep in the jungle, outruns the mysterious Smoke Monster that kills the pilot, and finds a pool of fresh drinking water. He makes rules for distributing the food that they find, he tries to save his friends from ‘the Others’ that kidnapped them, and he makes it his mission to get ‘his people’ off the Island.

Jack is the typical modernist man. He is ‘homo autonomous’ – a ‘law unto himself’ – as he is independent and rationalistic; he believes only in that which he can see, touch, or do himself. Walsh and Middleton say that for the modernists, “we are who we are by overcoming all that binds and inhibits us and by determining for ourselves who we will be.” (1) Jack is constantly trying to overcome his father’s harsh words to him as a child, “You don’t have what it takes [to save everyone].” He has been trying for most of his life to prove his father wrong, and he does it by ‘fixing’ as many people as he can. He has a bonified Messiah-complex, and believes he can, through his own rationality and medical abilities, help the lame to walk and the dead to rise. Before the crash, he ‘fixed’ the beautiful Sarah, enabling her to walk again and then marrying her. She left him a short time later, and as she was walking out of his life she said to him, “Look at it this way, at least now you have something to fix.” On the Island, Jack resuscitates a nearly dead Charlie and becomes furious with himself when he is not able to ‘fix’ the young Boone, who dies after falling off a cliff. He even tries to fix himself, as when he needs his appendix taken out, he tries to do it himself! When Juliet, another doctor, tells him she can do it, he still demands to be kept awake in order to ‘guide her through it’ (although she eventually has him put out when it’s apparent he is not handling the pain well). His mission to get everyone off the Island is just another broken situation to  ‘fix’. This controlling impulse does not come out of a selfless desire to help others, but out of a need to control, to master the natural world thereby putting himself in the center of it.

The modernist quest to master the unknown stems from people like Jack. For as Walsh and Middleton assert, “the whole view of the modernist project depends on this view of selfhood. Without an independently rational self there would be no reason to trust the results and achievements of modern science.”(2)  It is Jack’s view of himself as a rationalistic, independent being that allows him to see the world – and other people – as a set of mechanistic systems that can be studied, known, and conquered. Thus if something is wrong – whether is be paralysis or being stranded on an Island, his natural response is that he must fix what is broken, thereby achieving a mastery over it. (3) Jack only believes in what rationality and science can help him see, feel, or touch. If it is not logical, it must not be true. This naturally puts him into conflict with the Island’s ironically-named ‘‘Man of Faith’’, John Locke. It was the Island that healed Locke’s paralysis, not Jack. As a result, Locke has tremendous faith in the miraculous nature of the Island, telling Jack that he believes it is “different…special… because I looked into the eye of the Island, and what I saw was beautiful.” Locke believes that each one of them crashed there ‘for a reason.’ He says they have a ‘purpose’ on the Island, that ‘the Island chose you too, Jack,’ and it is his ‘destiny’ to be there. Jack thinks this is ridiculous, and consistently dismisses Locke as a delusional old man, telling him ‘I don’t believe in destiny.’ When the two discover a hatch that leads down into the DHARMA Swan Station with the computer button that needs to be pressed every 108 minutes to ‘save the world,’ Jack refuses to believe that anything will happen if it is not pushed. Locke, on the other had, believes this is part of their ‘destiny’ and tries to convince Jack to push the button first. When Jack refuses, they have one of the most memorable shouting matches of the entire series.

Locke: WHY DO YOU FIND IT SO HARD TO BELIEVE??
Jack: WHY DO YOU FIND IT SO EASY??
Locke: IT’S NEVER BEEN EASY!!

Locke spends his time on the Island struggling to find what exactly it is that the Island wants him to do, while Jack spends his time trying to rescue ‘his people’ from ‘the Others’ who kidnap some of them, and get everyone off the Island. Eventually, Jack makes contact with Widmore’s freighter, believing it is there to save them, while Locke tries desperately to stop him from leaving the Island.

Locke: You’re not supposed to go home.
Jack: What am I supposed to do? …What was it you said [before]? That crashing here was our destiny?…It’s an island. It doesn’t need protection.
Locke: An island? No… It’s a place where miracles happen.
Jack: There are no such thing as miracles.
Locke: Well, we’ll have to wait and see which one of us is right…You’ll have to lie to the people [when you get back home, about what has happened]. Lie to them, Jack. If you do it half as well as you lie to yourself, they’ll believe you.

Jack, as the typical modernist man, cannot believe in miracles, or a higher purpose, or destiny, because these things are rationally and scientifically inexplicable. He cannot produce miracles himself, therefore they must not exist.

Yet Jack is a ‘Man of Faith’ – faith in himself, and faith in science and reason as the highest possible ways of knowing. But his faith does not lead him to a very good place. Just as Walsh and Middleton suggest, when left to his own self-directed devices, the heroic, modernist individual inevitably does violence.(4)  Jack’s controlling, self-reliant ways caused him to physically fight anyone (like Ben) who got in his way of getting off they Island, and his ‘rational’ decisions got many people killed. He guided the people from the freighter to the Island and they ended up killing several people. The freighter eventually exploded, killing more and leaving them stranded on a helicopter, which crashed into the ocean. Only a handful of them, the ‘Oceanic Six,’ were rescued by another boat passing by. Remembering the last words of Locke, Jack convinces them all that they have to lie in order to protect those they left behind, who were still on the Island. The three years that they were off the Island were the most miserable of their lives. Jack succumbs to alcoholism and drug addiction.  He ruins all of his relationships and loses his job. His modernist, controlling tendencies rebounded upon himself. The last straw for Jack is discovering that Locke has committed suicide, after failing to convince the Oceanic Six that they all had to go back to the Island. Jack feels deeply responsible for Locke’s death and, realizing his controlling, self-reliant faith in himself, reason, and science had led to nowhere good, begins to believe that maybe Locke was right after all. He had become nothing but an emotionally bankrupt, deeply broken, shell of a man.

I like to think Coldplay’s sweeping ballad Fix You influenced Jack’s decision to go back to the Island.

When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try
To fix you

Jack had tried his best to get everyone rescued, but was only successful in ‘saving’ six of them. He wanted to get away from the Island, and he wanted to ‘win’ Kate’s heart, both which he accomplished, but this was not what he needed. His life derailed and he became a drunk, unable to sleep or move forward with his life. Thinking of all that he had lost – his father, his job, his friends, and his love with Kate – caused him to drown himself in tears. But there was hope for Jack.  The Light of the Island would ‘guide him home,’ so he would no longer be lost. Fulfilling his destiny on the Island would ‘ignite his bones,’ would help him come truly alive, and would bring him healing and redemption. And in the end, for Jack who had become broken by trying so hard to fix things, the Island would be the One to fix him. Starting to believe that all these things would come to pass, Jack takes a leap of faith and goes back to the Island.

Once returned, now in 1977 (5) , Jack slowly starts to show signs of change. He lets others lead and when a young Ben gets shot (6) , Kate tries to plead with him to save Ben and he replies, “You know, when we were here before I spent all of my time trying to fix things. But did you ever think that maybe the Island just wants to fix things itself? That maybe I was just getting it the way?” He believes now in the seemingly impossible – that the Island is a special, miraculous, relational entity, capable of choosing him to complete some important task. He believes now that he is ‘supposed’ to be there, yet at first he doesn’t know why. When Daniel Faraday, the physicist who specializes in time travel, explains to them that if they were to drop a nuclear bomb into the pocket of electro-magnetism (that would eventually be the site of the Swan hatch), then it would break the chain of events that would lead to their plane crashing on the Island, Jack, believing still in the weight of scientific knowledge, believes that this must be why he is there, to prevent all the misery that they had experienced since crashing on the Island. He drops the bomb into the pocket of energy, which only succeeds in killing Juliet (7)  and catapulting them back into the present day. Jack, confused that his plan didn’t work and still struggling to know why he is on the Island, eventually sees his name on Jacob’s mysterious dial in the lighthouse (8),  and the images of his childhood home in Jacob’s mirror. After some time, Jack is finally able to let go of his need for rationalistic answers and embrace faith in the mysterious ways of the Island. When the four final Candidates (to replace Jacob as Island Protector) are finally able to talk to Jacob and he explains that one of them must protect The Light, Jack speaks up in his first moment of complete clarity.

Jack: I’ll do it. This is why I’m here. I’m supposed to do this.
Jacob: [whispering gently, knowing Jack’s previous confusion] Is that a question, Jack?
Jack: [shakes his head, without hesitation] No.
Jacob: [smiles softly] Good.

Jacob performs the New Island  Protector Ceremony, and gives Jack a cup to drink while reciting a Latin incantation over it (like the Eucharist!).  Jack’s destiny, of which he is now certain, is to protect the Light, thereby saving all of humanity from the the Man in Black (aka the Smoke Monster) who’s soul now resides in John Locke’s body (who I’ll call Fake Locke, or ‘Flocke’ for short). Flocke’s goal is to destroy and leave the Island, thereby killing all of humanity. Jack however, is now ready to do what is necessary to protect the Light and destroy ‘Flocke’ (who up until this time, could not be killed by regular means). (9)

Now with a deeper, mystical connection to the Island, Jack goes with Desmond (who has a unique resistance to electro-magnetism) and ‘Flocke’ to The Light so that Desmond can turn it off. Jack believes this will enable him to kill ‘Flocke’, but ‘Flocke’ believes it will destroy the Island. They are both right. With the Light turned off, the Island begins to shake and sink into the ocean. Meanwhile,  ‘Flocke’ (the Smoke Monster) becomes fully human again, allowing him to be killed by regular means.  During an epic battle with the Smoke Monster on the side of a cliff in the pouring rain, Jack is stabbed in the side. But with the help of Kate, Jack is victorious in killing him. Yet the Island is still shaking and sinking, and Jack knows that he must go turn The Light back on in order to save the Island – and all of humanity. He declares his love for Kate and they share a passionate embrace before he pleads with his friends to run for the Ajira plane that brought them back to the Island. He returns to the cave and turns on The Light again (by placing a giant stone back into the core of The Light). He weeps with joy as he realizes that his destiny has been realized. He saved the Island and protected The Light thereby saving the world.

The final moments of Lost are pure poetry. Jack, bleeding profusely from his side, slowly stumbles back through the bamboo forest – the same one he first woke up in at the beginning of his journey. All his strength gone, he collapses to the ground and gazes through the trees. (Here the camera flashes to the ‘sideways world,’ which we now know is a sort of purgatory – outside of time and after they are all dead – so that all the plane crash survivors can find one another so they ‘move on’ together. Jack and all his beloved friends that he saved – and some that he couldn’t save, like the real Locke and Boone – are being reunited in a church sanctuary.) Flash back to the Island: Jack is laying on the ground and the same golden retriever, Vincent, runs to him from out of the forest, this time not to lick him awake but to lick his wounds and lay beside as he dies (and this is where I started sobbing uncontrollably).

Jack musters a weak laugh at the sight of Vincent, knowing that his epic, destiny-ridden journey has come full circle. (Flash sideways to the church: Jack embraces Locke, Hurley, and finally, his love, Kate, who guides him to sit down beside her in a pew.) Flash back to the Island: Jack’s final sight is the plane flying overhead, and he smiles knowing that his friends are safe. (Flash sideways to the church: Jack’s father, Christian Shephard, with whom he had made peace, proudly squeezes Jack’s shoulder. Christian walks slowly to the back of the church and opens the doors, allowing The Light – The Light of the Island that Jack had died to protect – to fill the church, and all the survivors –including Jack – are in awe of its pure warmth and radiance.) Flash back to the Island: the final image of Lost is Jack’s eye closing shut.

Only by letting go of his modernist ways and embracing, in faith and against all logic, his place in the Story of the Island, was Jack truly able to do the one thing he never been able to do before: save everyone. In the end, Jack didn’t need all of the ultimate, rationalistic answers. He didn’t need to know why he needed to protect The Light, or what it was, or how it got to the Island. He recognized that his modernist drive to rely on himself, master the unknown, and ‘fix’ people and situations only ended in tragedy, both for those around him and for himself. For reasons far outside the realm of logic and science, Jack relied on faith in something outside of himself, faith in something beyond the limitations of rationality, to guide his path home. Only by indwelling the Story of the Island, embracing his place among the many Island Protectors that had come before him, and sacrificing himself (adopting a healthier Messiah-likeness) for the good of others was he able to find ultimate healing and redemption, and spend eternity in peace with his beloved fellow pilgrims.

From System to Story (10)

Like Jack, the Church’s hope for guiding this generation through the jungle of post-modernity is found in letting go of our modernist ways of knowing, and embracing, in faith, our place in a socially embodied Story. We must abandon our idolatrous faith in rationality as the highest form of knowing and interpreting the Scriptures.  We must recognize that ‘finding the objective principles’ is not possible because we can never have access to a ‘neutral’ position outside of our socially, historically, and culturally rooted perspective. (11)  There is no such thing as an absolute, timeless, contextless system of Truth that simply ‘floats in space’ somewhere ‘out there’ for us all to grasp with our reason. Our belief that truth must equal objectivism simply implies that we have been culturally captivated by the modernist quest to master the unknown which as we have seen inevitably leads to violence against the ‘other.’ Rather, truth in scripture is always socially embodied in a tradition; rooted and intertwined in a culturally infused overarching Story. Instead of pretending that we are able to stand outside of  Scripture, from a neutral position, and then able to apply it to our own lives in a completely different cultural context, Lesslie Newbigin says that we must “indwell” the story in such a way that it becomes our story. (12)  We can come to a more authentic interpretation of the Scriptures the same way that we can come to a more genuine understanding of Lost: by abandoning our modernist quest for absolute answers, understanding that the narrative itself contains a critique of this way of thinking, and seeking to see ourselves as ‘lost’ as the characters in the story.

If the Creator of the Universe wanted us to know truth as a contextless system of ‘objective facts’, why didn’t he instruct the writers of Scripture to create systematic theology charts, graphs, and lists? Instead, he revealed truth through a socially and culturally embodied Story, that like Lost, contains within its narrative a critique of the totalizing and inherently violent ideology that results from modernist thinking. Spanning all of time from pre-existence to eternity, the Scriptures contain the epic tale of the creation, fall and redemption. It is the story of a suffering people whose cry was heard by a sensitive God who responded by taking the suffering upon Himself. It is the story of God’s purposes for the world – shalom, compassion, and justice – being worked out through Israel, Jesus, and the Church.(13)  Because this story of redemption is for all of creation, any “violent, ideological, self-justifying ownership of the story – either by nationalistic Jews or by sectarian and self-righteous Christians – brings the story to a dramatic dead end that has missed the creationally redemptive point.” (14)  The narrative itself – with its concern for every creature from every tribe, tongue, and nation, especially those who are weak and suffering  – is a critique of the totalizing exclusionary violence that occurs when one person or group embarks on the modernist quest to master the unknown. Like those who seek absolute answers in Lost, those who interpret scripture through modernist eyes are missing the very point that the narrative is trying to drive home.

Instead, we must seek to become part of the story. We can more authentically interpret Lost once we see that we are the stranded survivors – flawed, alone, and ‘lost’ in the chaotic, disorienting postmodern jungle; we are like those who arrogantly seek mastery over the unknown and thus cause harm to others; we are like Jack – struggling to let go of our need for control, to ‘fix’ people, to rely on ourselves and to seek absolute answers; we would be better off if we placed our faith in something beyond ourselves, something that cannot be known rationally, something as mysterious and beautiful as The Light; we could find healing and redemption by choosing to love, serve, and lay down our lives for the good of our fellow pilgrims.  In a similar tone, we can find a purer interpretation of the Scriptures, as Walsh and Middleton write, by noting that “We are the people whom God liberated from Egypt and led through the Red Sea; we are the people languishing in exile and crying out for release; we are the disciples whom Jesus rebuked for misunderstanding his mission and to whom he appeared after his resurrection; we are the newly formed church who received the outpouring of the Spirit after Pentecost.” (15)  By placing ourselves in the biblical narrative, we are able to gain a much clearer, intuitive insight into the ‘dramatic movement’ of the story and learn how we are to carry it forward, in our own context, in a manner that is faithful to the Author’s intentions.

How exactly are we to do this? Walsh and Keesmaat borrow from N.T. Wright as they explain that the task of indwelling the biblical story requires ‘faithful improvisation.’  It is helpful, they say, to think of the biblical narrative as an unfinished six-act drama, with Act I being creation, where the Author’s plot intentions are initially revealed, Act II being the fall or the initial conflict, Act III the story of Israel, Act IV the story of Jesus and the climax, ‘the pivotal act with begins to unravel the conflict at its deepest roots’, Act V the story of the Church, and Act VI being the eschaton when the Author’s narrative purposes are finally realized. We are all like actors living in Act V, the story of the Church, but the problem is, we have been given no script and the Author wishes us to finish Act V ourselves. In order to do this well, with the help of the wise and comforting Director (the Holy Spirit) we must, as actors, become so immersed in the script we have been already been given that we acquire an ‘intuitive imagination’ for how we are to improvise in a manner that is faithful to the Author’s narrative purposes. (16)  To do this well, Walsh and Keesmaat say it “requires taking the risk of improvisation that is creative, innovative, and flexible.” We must not simply cut and paste from the culturally imbedded stories of Israel into our cultural context, because “these earlier passages are not a script intended for our performance in a postmodern world but are the record or transcript of past performances of God’s people.”  To merely copy what Moses, David, and Paul did without taking into consideration that their actions were part of a particular culturally embodied story would as absurd as trying to find the Island in order to kill the Smoke Monster. Instead, we must learn of the Author’s purposes for the story and humbly seek to embody spirit of the story – justice for the oppressed, compassion for the poor and marginalized, sacrificial, selfless love for all of creation – in our own cultural context.

The Conclusion of the Matter

Lost was never about forming a systematic grid of answers, it was about engaging in the human story. It was prophetic critique of the modernist quest for ultimate answers and an allegory for how life should be lived in the carnivalesque aftermath of modernity’s demise. Those who cynically bitch that we never found out why Walt was so special, how The Light got in the cave, and why the Smoke Monster makes mechanical noises, have sadly missed the entire point of the narrative. The lack of answers was an intentional, brilliant literary device so that we would struggle along with the characters that were just as disoriented and ‘lost’ as we were. Jack never got all the answers spoon-fed to him – he had to reject his need for rational answers and rely on his intuitive connection to the Story of Island in order to fulfill his destiny.  Likewise, to come to a more authentic interpretation of Lost – and more importantly, the Scriptures – we must abandon our need for absolute, objective answers – a mindset that caused only violence and destruction on the Island – and so immerse ourselves in the narrative that we gain an intuitive sense of its overarching dramatic movement that is faithful to the intention of the creators. For Lost fans, to be faithful to the intentions of Damon and Carlton means that we must interpret it as a character study, and learn from the horrible mistakes of those who sought to control the Island, as well as the redemptive sacrifice of Jack Shephard who died to protect it. For the Church, to be faithful to the intentions of the Creator means that we must seek to live out shalom, compassion, justice, and sacrificial love within a community of fellow pilgrims. It is only by rooting ourselves in this Story of the Light that we may illuminate the Way for those who are lost at sea, battered around by the crushing waves of the postmodern storm.

endnotes

1 – Middleton and Walsh, 47.
2 – Ibid., 48.
3 – Walsh and Keesmaat, 123.
4 – Walsh and Keesmaat, 49.
5 – When Ben moved the Island, it skipped through time until it ‘rested’ in 1977 until Jack and the others returned.
6 – This was during ‘DHARMA times’ and Ben, whose father joined the DHARMA Iniative in 1975, is just a small boy.
7 – Juliet, another doctor, was a member of the Others who joined up with Jack’s people when she tried to get off the Island. She became close with many of them, including Jack. She died by getting sucked into the pocket of electro-magnetic energy.
8 – The large and lovable Hurley is told by Jacob to lead Jack to the Lighthouse, where hundreds of names are written beside numbers on a large dial. Jack’s number is 23 (like the 23rd Psalm, the ‘Lord is my shepherd’) and when they turn the dial to point at 23, Jack sees his childhood house in the mirror. This is how Jacob was able to watch them, and mysteriously draw them to the Island.
9 – As a ‘rule’ the Smoke Monster, who has no body, is able to take the form of whatever dead bodies are on the Island. Jack brought John Locke’s body back to the Island after he committed suicide. Ironically, even though Jack is now a disciple of Locke, visually it appears as though Jack is battling against Locke, which is reminiscent of their original relationship. It is also ironic that Locke was the only one who believed in the Island and wanted to stay and now his body is overtaken by the Man in Black who’s only goal is to destroy the Island and leave it forever.
10 – Middleton and Walsh, 66.
11 – Ibid., 174.
12 – Ibid.
13 – Ibid., 68-69.
14 – Walsh and Keesmaat, 109.
15 – Walsh and Middleton, 174-175.
16 – Ibid., 183.
17 – Walsh and Keesmaat, 133.
18 – Walsh and Middleton, 183.
19 – Ibid.

Works Cited (for Parts I, II, and III)

Colquhoun, Nathan, “5 Reasons Why LOST Disappointed.” Linking Life. May 24, 2010.     http://www.linkinglife.com/2010/05/5-reasons-why-lost-disappointed.

Lang, Michelle A., “Lost: Post-structureal Metanarrative of Postmodern Bildungsroman?” Society for the Study     of Lost. Issue 2.1. March 1, 2010. http://www.loststudies.com/2.1/postructural_metanarrative.html.

Lostpedia. http://www.lostpedia.wikia.com

Middleton, J. Richard and Walsh, Brian J., Truth is Stranger Than It Used to Be (Downer’s Grove: Intervarsity     Press, 1995).

Porter, Lynette and Lavery, David, Lost’s Buried Treasures (Naperville: Sourcebooks, 2010).

Moore, Pearson. Email to the author. May 15, 2010.

Seay, Chris, The Gospel According to Lost (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009).

Smith, James K. A., Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006).

Vaughn, Cari, “Lost in Hypertext.” Society for the Study of Lost. Issue 2.1. March 1, 2010.     http://www.loststudies.com/2.1/hypertext.html.

Walsh, Brian J. Walsh and Keesmaat, Slyvia C., Colossians Remixed (Downer’s Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2004).

White, Heath. Post-modernism 101. (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2006).

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19 Responses to “The Lord is My Jack Shephard: From System and Spectacle to Sacred Story, Part III”


  1. 1 nathan colquhoun July 14, 2010 at 12:49 am

    After all is written, I’m extremely impressed. This essay was beautifully written, provoking and well-researched. So props to you for it. You certainly gave me a new perspective and rekindled (a little) my original love for Lost and why I watched it in the first place. It was the depth of the story that I loved, and you reminded me and connected for me all sorts of beautiful parts of that story. So thanks.

    Lost took me on a journey of sorts. When I first started I just thought it was a great action, mystery show that was always going to keep me on edge. Then I started picking up on all the academic hints that they were leaving all over the place which made me love it all the more. Then the sci-fi stuff began, healings, smoke monster, time travel….and I was wierded out at first. However it grew on me over time and Lost is the reason I can watch Star Trek and Battlestar Gallatica now.

    The beauty about sci-fi’s I found was that there was always new and creative wonders that were be presented but they always had limits. Only one person would have special powers, you could only time travel in the right conditions. Lost started scaring me a bit when it seemed like there were no limits. This meant that the writers didn’t need to be creative anymore with where the story was going and follow the rules that they setup for themselves, instead they could just keep adding to the craziness of the story without ever really having to tie it in to where they were. The story kept being for the future and where it was going; not using any creative means to explain open ends in the past (adam and eve explanation was a huge letdown) and many times just ignoring the past all together (walt’s special abilities). This is more of a story-telling flaw than it is a philosophical one. I understand and concur with needing to embrace mystery and relinquish control, but when someone is telling you a story, they hold you in their hand, and in this case, the Lost writers didn’t do justice to their own story.

    The other side is the obvious “consumer drive” that a TV show has to keep up. With mobosodes, games etc they have to keep keeping the interest of it’s viewers so they succumb to cheap marketing tricks. Previews, love entanglements, product placement, interviews with the producers (where they lied at times to keep things more appealing)….it all served to cheapen the show. It may have been a necessary evil, but it was evil none the less.

    Finally, your conclusion needs to be balanced a bit I think. Here are some points I would make to help bring that balance.

    1. Those that bitch bring a different and important perspective to the story. They hold the writers accountable and help offer a viewpoint that isn’t stuck in your rational explanation of how you see lost as a critique of the modernist quest for ultimate answers. I think the biggest mistake that a post-modernist will make is to throw out and criticize the seeming ultimate answers that modern types will land on. The story wouldn’t exist without them. The story still needs those that are ‘lost’ and never find out that they are lost.

    2. I want to be faithful to the creators of lost, and if it is a character study, and they call the island a central character then I also think it’s ok to study the island and expect some resolve of this character in the show. The creators did very little to resolve any unsettled questions about the island, but they did so well with the rest of the characters.

    But again, all in all, excellent and awesome. I’m really glad someone took the time to write something like this and I’ll be passing it along to my peers for sure. Thanks again!

    • 2 joyforaweek July 14, 2010 at 5:10 am

      Nathan,

      I’m thrilled that you liked it! And I’m glad that it rekindled even a smidgen of your old love of LOST. I’ve always loved it more than I could ever express in words, as it’s taken me on quite a journey as well – intellectually as well as emotionally and spiritually. I know I’ll never be the same person I was before this show – it has given me an incredible love for ideas, culture, philosophy, mystery, and good storytelling. And I hear you about being able to watch Sci-fi now – I’ve been re-watching Lord of the Rings, and will be reading them soon, I never would have before LOST (and of course, yes there is overlap between the two)!

      I’ve always thought the Damon and Carlton were geniuses, and my faith in them was as strong as Jack’s final faith in the Island – which was why it was so sad for me to hear that you and so many others were so frustrated by the ending. So really, I should be thanking you for giving me a focus for this essay in the first place – consider it a letter in response to your frustration, and all the others’ as well. It took like a month, but I think I was finally able to articulate a bit of what I believe Darlton was up to with LOST, and why I believe it is such an incredible piece of multi-layered art.

      You do raise some good points, though, especially about the Island being a central character in the narrative. However, I think that the Island, character or not, was presented more like a mysterious entity that others tried to control rather than a person that can feel emotions, opinions, and is able to love. To give it resolve would be to defeat the whole point of the narrative – the critique of the quest to master the unknown. If the unknown becomes known, than we have mastered it, and we would not be lost, and they would be writing a whole other show, like CSI or something, where all the mysteries are solved in like 45 minutes and everyone feels good about the orderly world again. this is not real life, and this is not what Darlton was trying to say with LOST.

      As for those who bitch, well, I probably shouldn’t lump ‘them’ all together. You are probably right that some do offer another valid perspective, as there were probably some cheapening moments, and definitely some things that they ignored that never got resolved that didn’t make for incredible storytelling. But Darlton’s only human, and with the constraints of time, budget, child actors hitting puberty, and writer’s strikes and what not, I think they did the best they could. Though I still think that the unresolved nature adds to our feeling of being as ‘lost’ and confused as the characters in the narrative. In life, some things won’t get resolved. My grandmother didn’t get the Christmas parcel I sent to her before she died. Her last Christmas came and went without anything from me. It arrived January 9th, and was in her mailbox the morning she passed. Sucks. But that’s life. And that’s LOST. And I’ve made my peace with both. The hope that LOST offers is that even if things don’t get resolved with others we love in this life, there’s always the sideways -er, afterlife – to make our peace. Until then, we live – and die, daily – as Jack did.

      Thanks again for taking the time to read this, and for linking me and saying such kind things on your own site. I’m quite flattered.

      Long Live Lost!

      Jen

  2. 3 David Kentie July 15, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Well written! It’s very exciting and compelling. The more I review the story, the more that I have to agree with the Nathan on the character of the island. As much as it was a mysterious element, by the end you could hardly call it mysterious…it’s frustrating to know an element like the light-source, but not understand how it got there, functionality would have played up the greater importance of the island remaining guarded. But aside from that…I have to agree with Nathan on your post-modern evaluation. As I discovered through my critique of Foundationalism in my Epistemology and Postmodern Theology class, most postmodernist will throw the baby out with the bath water but refuse to acknowledge that they to adhere to a modernist foundationalism. If modernity examined the rational, than postmodernity examines the irrational? Nathan pointed out wisely that in order to develop these thesis you rationally used a systematic writing formulation. You penned out the layers and formed a foundation for which all your other arguments lie. You have claimed to understand the truth of the show, this is very modern. Perhaps we can’t say that humans aren’t capable of pure objective belief, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t absolute truth. As Nathan pointed out, these moral truths – most exemplified in the Son of God – are the building blocks to society, to the human way of living. Without these answers, shows like lost, this thesis, and Christianity would be a murky, short-lived, 13-episode tale who’s greatest hope is release on DVD. I think we ought to approach postmodernity sensitively but, it only effects the rational Christian in so much as how they will textualize – not contextualize – the story of Jesus Christ to their fellow man.

    • 4 joyforaweek July 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm

      Hey David,

      Thanks for reading, and thanks for your contribution to the discussion!

      We’ll just have to agree to disagree about the character of the Island. While I can understand that it is frustrating not to know the concrete answers about it, I think the whole narrative is a critique of that way of thinking – this is my whole thesis. From my perspective, the Island represents the great unknown that modernists have tried to conquer again and again, and it led to nothing but violence and then their own demise time and time again. The writers deliberately didn’t give answers about the Island to make us the viewers feel as lost, disoriented and confused as the characters in the narrative, thereby inviting us to be a part of the story.

      Jack and Locke never had concrete answers given to them about what the Island was -like the viewers- and that’s why they needed to take Leaps of Faith in order to fulfill their destiny. Likewise, we are never are given concrete, completely rational answers to most of life’s questions – that is why we must take our own leaps of faith – and just ‘trust and love well.’ (as JT said to Aisling recently on FB)

      I happen to agree with you that postmodernists adhere to a modernist foundationalism – if you read my paper closely, you would note that I was critiquing post-modernity as well. There is no such thing as post-modernity, I argued, it is simply hyper-modernity. Hyper-individualistic, wanting to pick and choose from different worldviews in order to create their own ‘style’ of belief. This does just as much violence to the ‘other’ as it simply turns belief systems into commodities, and so on. This is not good.

      And perhaps there is some confusion between you and Nathan and I. I do believe in truth, and I do believe there is a true interpretation of LOST. But it’s in the way I get there that is not modernist. I don’t believe I have the ‘ultimate’ or ‘objective’ message from LOST. I still am holding that my argument is a perspective, an interpretation, among many. But I believe it a a true interpretation, because it is FAITHFUL TO THE INTENTIONS OF THE CREATORS. They’re said it is a character study from the beginning, and they differentiated between the Island and the actual people. They said “It’s not about ‘where is this Island?’ but ‘Who are these PEOPLE?'” So right there they are saying the Island is not a person. And it’s their story to tell. So I’m trying to be faithful to their intentions, and that’s why I believe my perspective to be a true one. Not because it is rational, ultimate, or objective, which is what a modernist would rely on to find truth. That is the difference.

      A quote from Brian Walsh would help clarify what I mean:

      “In stark contrast to an objectivist epistemology that esteems distance, detachment, universality and abstractness, we discern in the biblical literature an understanding of truth that affirms intimacy, connectedness, particularity and concreteness. At root, in the Hebrew Scriptures truth is a matter of fidelity. Indeed the Hebrew word *emeth* was translated in the King James Version as ‘truth’ but is rendered ‘faithful’ in almost all modern translations. To say that God is true therefore means “that he keeps truth or faith with his people and requires them to keep truth or faith with him.” Truth, then, is a decidedly personal, social, and relational concept in the Scriptures. To know the truth, and to be known in the truth, is fundamentally a matter of covenantal faithfulness, manifest in the concreteness of daily life within a particular community at a particular time. No wonder the old English term for truth was *troth*. Parker Palmer puts it this way: “To know something or someone in truth is to enter troth with the known…to become bethrothed, to engage the known with one’s whole self, an engagement one enters with attentiveness, care, and good will.” – Brian Walsh, from his book ‘Colossians Remixed’

      TRUTH is ABOUT FIDELITY – faithfulness to a person. It is relational, concrete, and is manifested in a particular community at a particular time. It is the opposite way of thinking from the modernist who believes that TRUTH IS OBJECTIVE – abstract, distant, universal for all times and all places and is almost outside of time. Truth is always relational, always rooted in the person of Christ, manifested in a particular community and in a particular situation.

      In LOST, it’s about BEING FAITHFUL TO THE ISLAND. Jack becomes almost connected to the Island, which leads him to the TRUTH – how to kill the Smoke Monster and save his friends. It wasn’t revealed to him RATIONALLY. Locke was also deeply connected to the Island, which is why he was able to know when it would rain, how to get the dog back for Walt, how to hunt boar, etc. For us as viewers, to interpret Lost well is about having knowing the movement of the story – like I said in Part III. Having an intuitive sense of the story’s dramatic movement and knowing -from the creators – that it was all about the characters. For the Scriptures, it’s the same – truth knowing isn’t about systematically being given abstract truths from space – it’s about a relationship with the truth-giver – and seeking to be faithful to the movement of the Biblical Story – and the Creator of it.

      And yes, I laid out my thoughts in a rational argument. It’s not RATIONALITY that is dangerous, but RATIONALISM. Claiming that systems of rationality is the HIGHEST way to know something is true. Like Jack needed to abandon his rationalism, so do we. There are not people in this world who believe the gospel because only STRICTLY RATIONALISTIC reasons. You cannot be argued into believing in Christ. It’s almost absurd – asking people to lay down their lives to find it. To bear their cross. I was not argued into faith, and neither were anyone I know, and neither was Jack argued into believing in the Island. When Eloise Hawking told him in the Lamp Post that he needed to give Locke something of his fathers, Jack replied, “This is RIDICULOUS!!” and she responded with “Oh JACK. Stop telling yourself it’s ridiculous and start asking yourself if you BELIEVE it will WORK.” Jack needed to abandon his modernist ways – his faith in empiricism – and take a Leap of Faith – which led to his redemption and his ability to save the Island – and all of humanity.

      Again, thanks for reading, and let me know if I’ve clarified my position slightly for you here.

      -Jen

  3. 5 John July 29, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Hi Jen,

    I read your essay a few weeks ago (Nathan pointed me here, we’ve had many, many LOST discussions, theology discussions, etc.).

    I considered commenting then, but I decided to let both LOST and your essay steep a while in my thoughts first, so I returned today and just reread what you wrote.

    Full disclosure, I was a huge LOST fan, even something of a LOST apologist encouraging my LOST friends to hold faith to the end because the grand plan would be revealed. My own love for LOST was shaken with Across the Sea and shattered by the emotionally over wrought The End that tugged heart strings, but not story lines.

    I truly enjoyed your essay and the perspective you bring to viewing LOST. I enjoyed how you successfully showed through the story of LOST that a reliance on the purely rational can be disastrous at times. I would quibble with your critique of the modernist methods inevitably leading to violence as more honestly being a case where the modernist reliance on an objective and rational truth is no shield from the human condition that leads to a struggle for power and an easy reach for violent means to attain/maintain power.

    You claim in the body of your essay that the lack of answers provided is both intentional and a brilliant literary device. I would challenge that as I believe it became apparent that the writers did not actually withhold answers, they simply never bothered to write answers. They did not know the answers, so they could not share them if they wanted to. To some degree, I can overlook issues where real life events intruded and Mr. Eko needs to go due to contract disputes, Libby needs to go due to criminal charges, Walt needs to go due to a far more pronounced and rapid puberty than anticipated etc. but when we consider characters like Jacob, Smokey/MiB/FLocke, Christian Shephard, Claire we find that for a character driven story, these very key and central characters simply do not work. They are shallow puppets that act and react at the whim of the writers without regard to their place in the story.

    If we simply accept the Jacob revealed in Season 6 alone and out of context with LOST, then then we can see a wonderful character struggling to help Jack et al find their place, but when we consider the history we know Jacob has been a part of, we see a series of contradictions of intervention and non-intervention, contradictions that go to the heart of the character. This is not a complicated flawed character, it is an unrealised character.

    The unnamed character is even worse, nothing this character does or is involved in over the first 4 seasons bears any resemblance to the character and motivations revealed in the final 2 seasons. It becomes so clear that this character served multiple stand in purposes until it was finally written as prime antagonist and then tied to Jacob’s character.

    Christian works into the same issue. Christian’s appearances are obviously the result of multiple writers calling on his apparition to serve their episodes needs without regard to his place in the story until the final season attempts unsuccessfully to pull them together. christian as MiB on island and friendly guide spirit in the Flash Sideways world only works if you allow yourself to forget his appearances in earlier season and their context.

    Claire’s disappearance for a season swims out of the same muddy waters. Given the context of a devoted young mother abandoning her child; her story was loaded with significant potential. Coming back in season 6 with a Claire that simply wandered off, missed the ride home and went squirrely waiting for someone to return is not a case of a brilliant literary device, it’s a writer that simply gave up on the story.

    Now that all is said and done LOST, for me, is not a brilliantly written TV series, it’s a show that offered some interesting characters, some great individual episodes but it fell short of becoming the grand story it aimed for.

    Many fans of LOST that were saddened by the ending were not necessarily reacting to a lack of complete answers, but to a lack in the writing and story telling.

    LOST had fantastic potential, and I’m happy that you were able to connect with that potential and take something out of it for yourself. The message you are lifting from LOST and sharing in this essay is wonderful regardless of how well the writers of LOST accomplished their own task.

    • 6 joyforaweek July 31, 2010 at 1:09 am

      Hi John,

      thanks so much for your comment! you have a lot of great points here, and I’m going to take a few days to mull them over. plus i’m moving right now and have lots to do, but perhaps on monday i will reply in full!

      -Jen

    • 7 joyforaweek August 14, 2010 at 8:52 am

      Hi John,

      thanks for your patience in waiting for my reply. And thank you for the kind words about my essay. I really enjoyed all the research and time that went into writing it.

      I can understand and appreciate that you feel the problem was a lack of good writing and storytelling. I can see how one could view Christian, Claire, Jacob and the MIB as unrealized characters. However, I simply disagree.

      One of my major arguments in this essay is that the writing in LOST is a reflection of post-modernity. The random, disorienting, confusing nature of the cacophony of multiple voices in our culture is portrayed beautifully in the characters and the storytelling. Yes, many characters are named after philosophers, but it’s random, there’s no apparent connection, or it’s ‘ironic.’ I agree that in some cases, they never bothered to write answers, and I believe this was intentional – the point was to ask questions and to get the audience discussing and debating and deciding for themselves their own interpretation – this is post-modernity. Straight-up answers are no longer given to us, and if they are, I am usually skeptical. There are no simple black and white answers anymore and I’m thankful for this cultural shift. It allows us to explore more nuanced perspectives and listen to the voices of those who have been previously silenced. I used to feel anxiety at the lack of ‘certainty’ that multiple voices and perspectives gave me. (Much like this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon.) However now that my confidence in knowing the ‘truth’ is not based on needing ‘objective’ answers and is instead based on a more relational, fluid, particular, live-out conception of truth, I am at peace.

      As for the character of Christian in particular, I don’t believe that we should believe the MIB when he told Jack that he looked like his dad earlier. The MIB was a liar about everything else, why should we believe anything he said? This is the best essay I’ve read on Christian, it’s quite an outrageous theory, but an interesting one nonetheless.

      In the end, I still believe that LOST was an incredible story that is best interpreted, as I said, by *indwelling* the story ourselves -seeing ourselves as LOST in this disorienting world where there is confusion, random mysteries that are never fully solved, and lots and lost of un-answered questions. It is also best interpreted by being faithful to the intentions of the creators, who have said from the beginning that the most important questions for them are not “Where is the Island?” but “Who are these people?” And I feel like I knew, and loved, and now am grieving the loss of incredible characters who taught me a lot – in particular Hurley, Locke, Sayid, Jack, and Kate. I tear up just thinking of them. May they rest forever in my memory, and yours, and continue to affect the way we see the world.

      -Jen

      • 8 John August 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm

        Hi Jen,
        Thanks for the thoughtful response. I enjoyed how you used Calvin and Hobbes to illustrate your point.

        I may not have a full enough understanding of your perspective to be accurate when I say this, but it appears to me as though you’ve have simply traded modernism in for post-modernism.

        It’s not that there ARE no black and white answers, it’s not that there CANNOT be straight up answers, it’s that post-modernism isn’t concerned with finding them as a finality. It’s my own perspective, but any reliance on a singular “ism” leads to some warped places. I choose some from column Modern and some from column Post-Modern as seems appropriate; I value both perspectives.

        I would agree with you that the cacophony of narrative pulls on the island from the beginning is an excellent metaphor for a post-modern world. Simply throwing up a cacophony on the screen isn’t enough though when you delve into the individual narratives, which LOST does do, if those individual narratives in the cacophony fail.

        You linked Moore and I followed it and read it. He also writes a fascinating essay, but I can’t accept it as any understanding for Christian because as you have stated, it is best interpreted by the intentions of the writers and Moore’s interpretation is his own re-writing and editing of the Christian character and fails to account for how the writer’s used Christian through the series as a whole. It doesn’t account for Christian almost leading Jack off a cliff, it doesn’t account for any of Christian’s cabin appearances, it ignores Christian’s relationship with crazy Claire and then decides to contradict the one thing the writers had a character explain with exposition.

        I wish Christian HAD been the character Moore writes about in his essay. THAT would have been some fantastic writing.

        It’s a wonderful thing that you found meaning in the characters of LOST and were able to learn from the journey we watched them take. I only wish the writing would have been strong enough so that I, and others like me could have shared that same take away.

  4. 9 pablo July 30, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Interesting. I haven’t read all your posts, maybe tomorrow, but about this one, after taking a quick look a it, I can say this:

    About, Jack, the idea of “saviour” is still modernist or at least humanist , because is the man who saves the rest, so still faith in man remains, in a “hero”, but not in God.
    Then I found two things after reading your post; first, John Locke( like the philosopher) USA is based on his philosophy, he was an englishman, his ideas “stood up” in USA; Rose´s cancer was healed in the island, rose is the flower of England, the pilgrims went to USA to practice their relgion freely, that would be freedom of cult that didnt exist in England so the “cancer” was healed in the island, and in the end there is some kind of multireligious “church” in the island. “Flocke” could be the tergiversation of Locke´s values. In my opinion the island could be USA. If the idea is ecumenism, is anti christian; if the idea is faith in the the island (the state) is idolatry.
    The concept of “abandoning our modernist quest for absolute answers” that is a post-modernism concept, relativism, if there is no absolute there is no measure of things. Maybe the “lost” island are the “lost” values of the USA the ones of the founders.
    Systematic theology can distinguish between different contexts, but at the same time, we have to understand that the Bible was revealed by God who is not part of a changing context but He is constant, so the Bible has a logic that doesn´t change, and that is what systematic theology teaches.

    • 10 joyforaweek July 31, 2010 at 1:11 am

      Hi Pablo, thanks for your comment!

      hmmm, a lot of great ideas here – ones that i have never heard before! very cool. I’m going to take a few days to think about them before replying in full. also, i’m in the middle of moving and i so won’t be online for a few days. hopefully on monday I’ll be able to reply!

      -Jen

    • 11 joyforaweek August 14, 2010 at 9:16 am

      Pablo,

      thanks for your patience in waiting for my reply.

      I understand what you are trying to say and would respond simply by saying that my analysis is not meant to suggest that Jack’s sacrifice is a literal or perfect representation of Christ’s sacrifice. Of course there are differences. However, I disagree with you that he died to save a place and not people. In the episode ‘Across the Sea’ we learned from Jacob’s ‘mother’ that a little bit of the Light is inside every person, and that if it were to ever go out, than humanity would perish. So when Jack saved the Island, thereby protecting the Light, we WAS in fact saving all of humanity! That is why so many people were fighting over the Island, because it contained the Light which was the Source of all life, of all people.

      My analysis is more accurately meant to uncover the dangers of Jack’s epistemology – that is, HOW Jack KNOWS, or what his perception of truth is based upon. And therefore it is meant to be a critique of how the CHURCH knows. Jack originally believes that the pathway to truth is empirical in nature, meaning he relies on systematic rationality in order to understand reality. This is the “modernist quest to master the unknown” and I believe the Church for the last 3 centuries since the enlightenment has been interpreting the scriptures through this lens, and this has led to idolatry of ‘systematic theology’ and objectivism, and is an unbiblical way of understanding ‘truth’, which more accurately relational, fluid, and more about fidelity to the truth-giver than a reliance on ‘eternal’ principles which ‘float’ in space unattached to a person, place, or particular situation.

      So while I can understand why you believe there is a difference between Jack’s sacrifice and Christ’s, I first believe that it was similar because he DID die to save all of humanity, at great personal cost. And secondly, the major focus on my essay was an epistemological critique, not an allegorical one.

      -Jen

  5. 12 Pablo July 31, 2010 at 6:41 am

    I have seen just a few episodes of Lost, so all this ideas are based on what I´ve read on this post.
    I forgot to say that Jack´s sacrifice doesn´t seem to be a “Christ-like” sacrifice, it seems that his sacrifice is in favour of the island(state) instead of the humanity; to save the place where those men are going to live, but is not a personal sacrifice, is a sacrifice to save the state and its ideals, like a soldier fighting for his country, for “democracy”.
    Jack was, in my opinion, the representation of a soldier, a hero but not a saviour, a leader (shepard)who shows the way of sacrifice but is not like Christ did, once and for all; here the sacrifice is the way, like a model for a soldier; is not the people the first to be saved, the ideals of the state must be saved first and that will “save” as a consequence the people, but the island(state and ideals) is the focus, not the people, because at the end what it will save them is the state and its ideals, the “island” saved them. Also remember the “manifest destiny”. So it is something completely earthly, secular, like saving the structure, but not people with names, thats why every character has a symbolic name, names that have an ideological or philosophical meaning.
    The conclusion is that I don´t see something “biblic” but a secular imitation of a redemption, doesn´t direct people to God but to the “island” false saviours, like an earthly “heaven” or the utopia island of Thomas More.
    But don´t worry “lost” is over, but real life continues.

    • 13 joyforaweek August 14, 2010 at 9:18 am

      See my above response to your other comment.

      -Jen

      • 14 Pablo August 18, 2010 at 11:05 am

        To be rational and to be rationalist is not the same, if we are not rational we are irrational and that is the religion of chaos. The fact that God doesnt change, like human philosphies change, is what gives us the posibility to believe in Him, because His word doesnt change, He is perfect, He does not need to change,so if you want a “flexible” theology it could be that the bible does not fit with some of your political ideologies, it woudnt be the first time.
        I think the program was clearly an allegory of the USA, not your essay, I said the producers of the program decided to make this coincidences like “John Locke”; if they were not talking about USA why would they use a name related to that country and its philosophical foundation?

        There were many imperfect Christ figures in different movies, this wouldnt be the first case, but I think his sacrifice is for the state, he fits in that role perfectly in my opinion, better than an imperfect Christ figure. Jack was an empirist, John Locke was also a physician empirist.

        I havent seen all the episodes, so I dont clearly understand how a baby alone can continue the specie if there is no more ppl around.
        If he was protecting the island(Jack) then he was protecting the state with a manifest destiny.
        Im repeating my previous comment of july 31.

      • 15 joyforaweek August 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm

        If you read my essay carefully you would note that I am not against rationality, as my essay is written out in a rational argument. So I agree with you that rationality and rationalism are not the same. Rationalism is the idea that human reason is the *highest* way of knowing, and I don’t believe this to be true. I think faith is actually quite irrational. I don’t believe in God because it is a reasonable thing to do, but because of my experience of him. It is not my mind that convinces me of his truth, but his Spirit in my life and in the lives of the saints throughout time.

        I’m not sure I understand the rest of what you are saying, it gets rather nonsensical after this. I agree with you that God doesn’t change, but that’s not why I believe. I also agree with you that human philosophies change, indeed, and the Church is held captive to them. The church has been reading the scriptures through the lens of the Enlightenment philosophers and i think this leaves us with a very dangerous unbiblical notion of truth.

        As for the allegory of the USA, well, I just disagree. Like I said above, Jack didn’t die for a place or a state, he died for all of humanity, because if the Island sank than everyone would die. Besides, John Locke was BRITISH, not American. And there are also many references to Buddhism, Hinduism, European philosophers, American novelists, and I could go on and on. The point is that it is a random cacophony of a plethora of different cultural references from many different countries, religions, eras, and ideas, which is why it is above all, postmodern.

        Jen

  6. 16 drush76 January 12, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    [“He drops the bomb into the pocket of energy, which only succeeds in killing Juliet (7) and catapulting them back into the present day.”]

    That is NOT the complete picture. Yes, Jack did drop the bomb into the pit. But it did not immediately kill Juliet. In fact, it failed to explode. Due to her own insecurities, Juliet decided to set off the bomb, instead of asking for help . . . and in the end, killed herself.

    • 17 Jen January 12, 2012 at 11:49 pm

      Fair enough, but if Jack hadn’t decided to drop the bomb, Kate would not have gotten Juliet and Sawyer off the sub to go and try to stop him. There was a reason Sawyer blamed Jack for her death, and I think it was a good one.

      My point in writing this essay was to show the fallacy of Jack’s over-dependence on science and logic, not to elaborate on every detail of every scene. I went over my word limit by 1000 words as it was.

  7. 18 drush76 January 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    If Daniel had not come up with the plan to drop the bomb . . . if the Dharma Initiative had not exposed the island’s magnetic energy . . . if Jack had not decided to continue with Daniel’s plans . . . if Kate had not decided to go after Sawyer and Juliet to stop Jack . . . if Sawyer had not glanced at Kate after he, Juliet and Kate had encountered Bernard and Rose . . . if Sawyer had not talked Juliet into remaining on the island; Juliet would still be alive.

    If Sawyer is going to blame Jack, he might as well blame Kate, the Dharma Intitiative, Daniel Farady, Juliet and himself.


  1. 1 Some Great Links for All Those That Enjoyed Lost | Based on a True Story Trackback on July 14, 2010 at 1:01 am

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