Fallen Angels and the LOST Paradise
Please don’t throw rocks if this has been mentioned before. I did sift through many a post, and also did a site search of “Paradise Lost” mentions in this forum just in case. I was kind of surprised that only one mention came up, dated 12 April 2009 regarding theories on what the Smoke Monster is (oh how far we have and haven’t come from those days, hehe). In any case, a literary allusion reminder doesn’t hurt anyone! Hopefully you can bear through it all the way through…
My theory is loosely linked to ideas set forth in Milton’s Paradise Lost. As Johncgs wrote almost a year ago to explain (drawing from the oh-so-handy Wikipedia):
“The poem concerns the Judeo-Christian story of the Fall of Man; the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton’s purpose, stated in Book I, is to ‘justify the ways of God to men’ and elucidate the conflict between God’s eternal foresight and free will.”
So we all know that a huge overarching theme of this show is the balance/conflict between free will and destiny… from the beginning we had the opposing figures of Jack (a science man, who reacts to every action) and Locke (a faith man, who is steadfast in his trust of “what the Island wants”). Not to mention the innumerable black/white references.
I recently responded to lostfan108’s comment on foreverpuzzled’s post (can’t quite find that link at the moment), and how I enjoyed the idea of Jacob and MIB being on the same side originally as guardians of the Island and MIB becoming disillusioned for whatever reason.
In Paradise Lost, Satan got super annoyed with being a servant to God, if memory serves me correctly he was the highest of all the angels. But he got sick of being #2 to God, so he rallies some other rebel angels and does his epic Braveheart speech going “It’s better to reign in hell than serve in heaven” and convinces the rebel angels that God didn’t create them– they were born from themselves, so God had no authority over them. Satan and the rebels pretty much wage war on heaven– which results in him and his fellow rebel angels to be expelled to hell. By then, Satan’s just even more disgruntled starts a-schemin’ to wreak havoc on God’s annoying perfection (I mean, you know you always kind of dislike the smartest/fastest/cutest kid in your class, it’s irritating that they KNOW they’re good). He ends up finding God’s little creation, “earth” and sets about messing with the naivete of Adam and Eve.
I want to say that, in this same vein, Jacob and MIB were originally both guardians of the Island and MIB got tired of sharing the limelight– possibly he was Jacob’s #2, and got sick of doing Jacob’s bidding or playing by his rules. MIB thought, “Well wtf, I can be my own boss, have my own world with my own way of doing things, even if it’s not as great as Jacob’s way, i.e. “It’s better to reign in hell than serve in heaven”. So he starts a-schemin’ to himself… and he just has to find this darned loophole in the rules. And perhaps recruit some people for his war.
It’s important to note that Milton, though he took strongly from Judeo-Christian traditions, also examined other texts that are akin to the books of the Bible/Torah but were eventually deemed non-canonical in both religions. One of these is the Book of Enoch, which offers a version of the fallen angel story in the Book of Watchers. I’m not super keen on apocryphal texts, so I’ll just have to quote what I found on the internet (def jump in regarding these texts if you’re familiar with them):
Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel appeal to God to judge the inhabitants of the world and the fallen angels. Uriel is then sent by God to tell Noah of the coming apocalypse and what he needs to do.
“Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spoke, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, and said to him: Go to Noah and tell him in my name “Hide thyself!” and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. And now instruct him that he may escape and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world.”
Note: Traditionally, Michael is a warrior, Raphael is a healer and Gabriel is a messenger. I don’t ever remember what Uriel does traditionally, but in Paradise Lost, Uriel accidentally shows Satan where earth is… which results in Satan getting there and doing his whole temptation bit on Adam and Eve/wreaking some havoc on the world.
I find this reference very interesting– the deluge referred to in the Book of Enoch quote above is referring to the flood in the story of Noah’s ark, but parallels can be drawn to the image of the submerged Island. Somewhere in that entry is also a reference to a coming war and the apocalypse. One of the most telling lines in Lost (at least to me) comes from Widmore to Locke/Bentham “There is a war coming, and if you’re not back on the Island when it starts, the wrong side is going to win.”
I’ve been aching for ages wondering what this war might be like (if you’ve read my other crazy posts where I refer to Narnia and Harry Potter, you know I’m big on this war idea), and now we’re seeing the two sides being built– lines drawn, things as black and white as ever.
In any case, I’m surely not refuting any sort of idea that the writers are drawing heavily from the ideas of reincarnation and all that… I’m coming from the school of thought that both western and eastern philosophies, along with the balance of yin/yang, natural science and animism, are informing the writers’ treatment of the spiritual side of this Island. I think my thoughts could work in tandem with any number of theories… just haven’t been able to align it specifically and continue it further, but I hope to flesh it out much better very soon. Just need to hash it out more in my head, and PL seems to inform a lot of my ideas. I want to stop here before I ramble incoherently further…
Thoughts, comments, concerns?
P.S. So many thanks to all the folks whose comments or theories nudged this connection into my head… I wish I could remember every post I read to credit you for any spark you might have made.