Friday, October 08, 2004

The Island Is Manifesting Their Fears

I was skeptical at first but am increasingly convinced the island is manifesting the passengers' own fears. I believe this not only explains each strange occurrence so far, it also fits neatly into the Lord of the Flies influence that hangs heavily over this show. Consider the following:

At least least some of the characters (certainly Rose and possibly Jack) are afraid of flying. Perhaps hitting turbulence, combined with their resulting fear of crashing--both of which presumably took place in the proximity of the island--was what caused the crash in the first place. Similarly, it's been noted that someone (Rose?) says the forest monster sounds familiar. Maybe she had something specific in mind--which is what led to its creation in the first place.

Then there's the polar bear in the comic book that has been mentioned. If the island (or something on it) is manifesting things, then Walt need not be magical at all. The same is true of the rain stopping when Walt and Michael are talking. Some take this to mean that Walt controls the weather. I think it more likely that the island stops the rain in response to Michael's obvious terror at the thought of going into the jungle to look for Vincent.

And what to make of Shannon's centrality to the French distress call? Ive heard it suggested that maybe the voice is hers from the future. I think it more likely that the call was manifested in response to her fear of not being rescued. Remember, she is almost irrationally adamant that they will be saved. This suggests to me that she secretly fears they won't. She also has a complex about her french--just a coincidence?

Aside from these points, I'm attracted to this theory because it ties into a larger influence that's been mentioned on these boards: Lord of the Flies. Everything about the show suggests an ironic play on this book. The characters are stranded by a plane crash. Here, however, the voice of civilization is named Jack (in the book, Jack embodies the opposite impulse). His nemesis is the blond Sawyer (in the book, civilization's representative is a blond boy named Ralph). There is a Piggy and (reportedly) wild boars. Most importantly, the theme of fear of the unknown is central to both.

The survivors don't know it yet, but the island is manifesting their fears. Look for them to divide up based on how they deal with their inability to comprehend what is happening to them.

PS: Does anyone else think Jack's drinking problem may be linked somehow to another crash or accident involving planes in his past? I really think it's significant that he mentions to Kate that he tried flying but it wasn't for him.