The Elusive Ms. Hawking
We haven’t learned very much about the elusive Ms. Hawking, or, what her present day mission is, or whom she presently works for. We know that in her younger years on ‘the island’ she was known by the name Ellie, and was a gun-toting, no-nonsense woman, and a member of ‘the others’, and that she was somewhat of a force to be reckoned with.
We first see young Ellie when ‘the island’ flashes to 1954, and get a sense of her. We know that at some point, she and the young Charles Widmore eventually hook-up, not only as leaders of ‘the others’, but as a couple.
It is widely believed that the son she bore, (Daniel Faraday), was fathered by Charles Widmore. We know that Charles was eventually banished from ‘the island’ by Ben for fathering another child with a woman off-island.
Eloise Hawking eventually leaves ‘the island’, but we don’t know under what circumstances, or why. We also don’t know what relationship, if any, she has maintained with Charles Widmore. Given her strong character, she might be at odds with him. We also don’t know if Ms. Hawking remained a ‘true other’ on the outside world, or if, her alliance shifted elsewhere.
Charles Widmore was desperately attempting to find a way back to ‘the island’, but it would appear, that Ms. Hawking was unwilling or unable to assist him. The writers have referred to Ms. Hawking as some sort of ‘temporal policeman’ in place to make sure that everybody who is supposed to get to ‘the island’ does. They say, this is related to the grand scale of Fate versus Free will.
Ms. Hawking was present in Desmond’s ‘conscience flash’, and taught him about how the Universe self-corrects. We get a sense, that Ms. Hawking has some kind of unique power or spiritual wisdom.
The next time we see her it is in the basement of a church, where she is calculating how and when the ’06’ can best make their return to ‘the island’. We are not clear, what her present interest in ‘the island’ is, nor what her current motives are.
Perhaps, we can learn something from the two pieces of jewelry we have seen her wear. The first is the Ouroboros worn when she encounters Desmond in the Jewelry Store.
The Ouroboros often represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly recreating itself, the eternal return and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end.
The alchemists, who in their own way knew more about the nature of the individuation process than we moderns do, expressed this paradox through the symbol of the Ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail. The Ouroboros has been said to have a meaning of infinity or wholeness. In the age-old image of the Ouroboros lies the thought of devouring oneself and turning oneself into a circulatory process, for it was clear to the more astute alchemists that the prima materia of the art was man himself.
The Ouroboros is a dramatic symbol for the integration and assimilation of the opposite, i.e. of the SHADOW. This ‘feed-back’ process is at the same time a symbol of immortality, since it is said of the Ouroboros that he slays himself and brings himself to life, fertilizes himself and gives birth to himself. He symbolizes ‘The One’, who proceeds from the clash of opposites, and he therefore constitutes the secret of the prima material, which unquestionably stems from man’s unconscious.
When we see Ms. Hawking again, she is wearing a pendant called a Vajra. The Vajra is believed to represent firmness of spirit and spiritual power. The Vajra destroys all kinds of ignorance, and it is indestructible. In tantric rituals the Vajra symbolizes the male principle, which represents method in the right hand, and the Bell symbolizes the female principle, which is held in the left. Their interaction leads to enlightenment. When worn as a pendant, it reminds the wearer, and the viewer, of the supreme indestructibility of knowledge.
Based upon the two pieces of jewelry, it appears that she is a woman with deep spiritual beliefs. It is hard to fathom, that she would represent anything but goodness, in this whole story. And, if I had to take a guess, I bet Ms. Hawking knows ‘what lies in the shadow of the statue’.