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Breaking Lost down to one word – waddaya think?

Ok, so Lost is over. Am I disappointed? Not really. I think the writers did an amazing job setting up the series finale in a way we wouldn’t have expected – not entirely at least. We are all still trying to break Lost down to find some sense in it, and obviously we have different opinions. Though, what we all will agree of is how the true plotline was hidden – how the characters importance to eachother was hidden beyond a story about the worlds end, an Island and a smokemonster.

After seeing the finale a couple of time, I had a thought; Lost, however complex it is, has to be possible to break down into a simple keyword – a single plot-centre. But what? And then it struck me!
During the six seasons of magnificense, there has been one human trait standing out over the others, the one thing Jacob wanted for his candidates, something he never had himself:

– The possibility to choose

The rules on the Island was more or less revealed to make Jacob and his brother unable to directly interact with the candidates. What they could do, though, was present their options and try to provoke their choices. Jacob chose people who needed the Island as much as it needed them. People with flaws in their history or personality, little to live for, and so on. Jacob brought them there, and gave them the ability to choose their destiny. To choose what they would do with the situation they were presented, caught in. They could give up, or they could unite and make the best of it – to try and get off the Island. Of course, they weren’t supposed to go off, as Jacob needed a replacement asap – he knew MIB was close to exploiting the loophole.

Back to what matters. Choice – CHOICE! – is a sentral part of the series. This is underlined by Jacob around the campfire. Free will, and the ability to choose freely, is what separates humans from animals.

I know, lot of holes in this, but I would like to see what you think of it – and please, add to it if you have anything to add.

Best regards,
Chris

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schackt

8 thoughts on “Breaking Lost down to one word – waddaya think?

  1. Choice isn’t choice if he brought them to the island, they didn’t make that decision on their own. I think it’s all about Fate.
    Fate meaning that no matter what happened, it was going to happen, and was supposed to happen

  2. Well, you could say that they indeed had a Choice – but not their Free Will..

    Jacob started pushing people towards the Island at a very young age(Kate Sawyer)
    then he puts them through litteral Hell
    before explaining around the campfire
    at the very, very last moment:
    – One of you must take my place by the time the fire goes out, or else you, the world and everyone you ever loved – will Die…

    Jack stepped up – Hurley really didn’t want to, but accepted because he felt he DIDN’T have a Choice…

    In the end it’s up to the individual –
    however they have no saying in the journey Jacob puts them on.. That is by my definition: Not Free Will

  3. schackt, I believe that you are correct about it being Jacob who wanted them to use their own free will and make choices.

    This definitely stems from the fact that ‘mother’ didn’t allow Jacob any choice in what he became. I also think that what transpired between Jacob and his brother exacerbated his desire to see that ‘choice’ was something very important.

    Clearly, as has been pointed out ‘the losties’ were fated to the experiences that they had on ‘the island’, etc. Jacob chose these people for a reason and helped them on their spiritual journey.

    Great post!

  4. I believe, in life, there is always a choice. You will never be able to control your circumstances entirely. But you will and can always choose your mental attitude and thus your action. You may be predisposed to choose a certain way, given past experiences and current circumstances, but there is always a choice.

    As “destined” as Jack felt he was to be the protector of the Island, he made a choice to follow that destiny. Hugo made a choice to (reluctantly) accept it from Jack. Choices are not always easy; sometimes your estimation of the weight behind your options is 51-49; neither is really great but one is worse than the other.

    Being pushed through life by circumstance and by the choices of others means you are choosing to allow it. You must make a choice to break out of it or to remain inside of it. Choice. Even complete inaction is an action in itself; choosing not to choose is still a choice. There is always a choice.

  5. Sacrifice just Yourself – or the entire World as well, don’t Tell me you consider that to be a Choice founded on Free Will

    It’s a Choice, yes – but nowhere near a Free one..

    Is there anyone out here that wouldn’t have accepted the job..?
    Regardless of what kind of person you are at Heart – would anyone let the World End along with everyone we Love..? No, no one would – that’s NOT REALLY a Choice,
    not an option..

    And btw, they were drawn to the Island quite against their Will, they didn’t want to – but Jacob insisted.

    In fact, Michael couldn’t even Choose
    to take his own Life – because the Island wasn’t “done with him yet”

    So, Choiceless Michael goes back to the Island – tries to redeem himself and for that – ends up a Lost soul – cursed to wander the Island..

    Free Will my ass..

  6. Difficult circumstances do not make a person’s choice to act a forced choice. You can still choose not to accept the job for whatever reason. You may be looked at as a complete jerk or responsible for the end of mankind, but it is still a choice to act.

    If someone is being mugged on the street in front of me and I have the ability to help him, am I required to? Morally we say that I am, morally obligated, to do something; to choose to help him. I can also choose NOT to help him, though the person responsible for the man being mugged is not me for refusing to help, but the man who actually mugged the guy. I may be compelled to act, I may be emotionally invested to act, I may be presented with information that makes me believe that by choosing not to act then a whole lot of bad crap is going to happen; but I still have to CHOOSE whether or not to actually do it.

    There is always a choice, even when a choice looks like a requirement. If you view a situation a certain way and decide you must act one way, then you’ve already made the choice and convinced yourself that you have no choice. When you say “I had no choice”, what you really mean to say is “I had a choice and I chose the only way I could live with myself because the choice was simple”. The matter in such a situation is that the choice is SIMPLE; not necessarily EASY, but the choice itself is simple because of what’s at stake.

  7. Actually, while they may have had no choice wrt 815, but when they got on 316, they did it with understanding exactly what they were in for and sealed their fate.

    Apparently Jack changed the rules and didn’t give you much choice. Good thing he died quickly.

  8. Sometimes circumstances are forced upon you, in fact, circumstances are forced on you literally every day of your life. Those are things we cannot control but we can choose our response to them.

    Let’s assume that each person’s trip on 815 was “forced” by Jacob. Fine. But what happens when they get to the Island? Most are there for several months, some of them years, and there are several hundred tiny choices in the course of each and every single day that they must make.

    Sawyer was “pushed” to the Island by Jacob? Fine. But Sawyer made tons of choices on his own once he got to the Island in response to his imposed set of circumstances; from getting on the raft to jumping out of the chopper; from staying with DHARMA and Juliet, to stealing Smokey’s boat. Nobody forced him to make any of those choices because they were CHOICES.

    Like getting hit by a bullet from the barrel of a gun; you might not be able to dodge the bullet, but you can choose to stay on the ground or get back up once you are hit.

    Man cannot control his circumstances; he can only control his response to them.

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