Dante & LOST
This will be short.. I hope. This is a thought that came to me a few minutes ago. I was thinking about LOST as a whole – not just the recent season.. but how the show progresses and functions as a whole.
One thing that struck me was how the show has been structured. It has 3 basic parts:
1) Flashbacks – we discover the past lives of our characters before the came to the island.
2) Flashforwards – we see their lives as they have ‘escaped’ the island for the time being.
3) Flash sideways – we see their lives in an alternate time period or future reality
Now, I can’t quite explain how this popped into my head.. but.. it did. This structure seemed similar to Dante’s Divine Comedy in which there are also three parts:
1) Inferno – a wonderful description of the 9 cirlces of hell
2) Purgatorio – where Dante climbs the mountain towards the third part…
3) Paradiso – the paradise where Dante finds Beatrice.
Now.. it strikes me that our losties lives before they came to the island were not so fantastic.. so along the lines of Inferno. When the Oceanic six escape the island… their lives are somewhat good.. somewhat bad.. awaiting judgement.. or awaiting a return to the island.. so roughly paralleled with Purgatorio. Our flash sideways – for a lot of our characters – have shown noble and good qualities.. lives where our characters are.. for the most part.. happy.
It’s not a perfect parallelism, but it is a good framework for a possible understanding of how the show functions as a whole – rather than trying to understand it bit by bit.
Any thoughts or additions?