Right and Wrong, Good and Evil, B&W, those are not such simple matters…

Written 24th March

Ever since MIB was introduced, I see a lot of talking about right and wrong, good and evil, one dressed in black, the other dressed in white, and so on. I have been a big fan of Lost for a while, and tell you what: of all things that could happen to make me very disappointed with Lost, the worst one would be to end up with such infantile, simple definitions of right and wrong, evil and good. That’s even worst than spaceships and hell.

Lost has always been very well connected with history and religion, and when the series explores those matters it truly becomes great. Frankly, I miss those episodes on the first seasons when religion, symbolism and all those things were more discussed.

But to get to the point. Good and Evil are not such simple things. I believe we should expect more from MIB. He’s not going to end up as just a simple personification of evil. In the same way, Jacob doesn’t seem to be such an angel. I like to think that some of what MIB said is actually true: maybe they are locked (“John Locked”) in the Island, maybe this is all Jacob’s doing, and maybe, just maybe, it is for nothing (or for very little).

I for one have been thinking that Jacob is quite arrogant. Specially on last night’s episode. He says thinks like “If I had to say what to do, it wouldn’t make sense”, he nearly drowns Ricardus to show him he is alive, and is always so confident. We also see MIB asking Jacob to let him free, and he denies. And that’s all in only one episode. So it is likely that Jacob is not that perfect.

I’m not saying I believe in what I am about to say, but it’s a possibility that Jacob created this whole thing (maybe even the Island), and created this game and those rules, just to prove his thoughts about mankind. Maybe he forced people to play this game (and many have died). In the same way that Jacob “touched” Richard and gave him a gift, I even wonder if he didn’t “touch” MIB and forced him to become the “opposite side”, the “enemy”, giving him the job to destroy, kill, question, and contradict. Maybe MIB doesn’t even like doing it, but it’s his job, while Jacob tries to prove him wrong. All because Jacob was bored and alone once upon a time in the Island.
(how the Island was created, and how it was done, I don’t know and don’t want to get to that matter – but supporting some of the theories about parallel universes and dimensions, maybe the first one to join that dimension had the chance to create it as he wanted to…)

If you come to think about it, there’s a lot of that in religion. People seem to forget that Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, and Islam are all monotheist religions. That means only one God. There’s no such thing as God versus Devil. There’s only God. And even if the Devil exists, it is because God created him. And if evil exists, it is because God decided it should. Religious people just have a hard time thinking about it, because it is much easier to blame the Devil for someone’s death, a war, or even an earth-quake, than to accept that it is much likely God’s will, and not the Devil’s (that is only if you are religious and believes in Gods interference, otherwise you can believe that neither God nor the Devil have anything to do with it, which is quite easier for me).

So, if I may leave such a controversial opinion in my first post, I suggest that people think better and deeper about Good and Evil, and that we all “pray” that the series doesn’t end with such simple definitions. It would be a shame for such a complex history.

* To complete my talk about religion’s influence on Lost, I would like to suggest everyone to read a bit more about religion. You will be surprised how many connections to Lost come up. A good start is Wikipedia’s article about JACOB. You will find out, for example, that Jacob had a twin brother, called Esau, and that Esau was born first and for that deserved their father’s blessing. However, Jacob’s mother and himself deceived their father when he was blind, and Jacob was blessed instead (which turned Esau into his enemy). Also, Jacob was more of a simpler, quieter guy, while Esau was a hunter and adventurer. You will also find out that Jacob had twelve son’s, the last one being named Benjamin. And to no surprise at all, you will find out that Jacob traveled to Egypt at some point in life and even died in there. Anyone noticed the big statue looks like the Egyptian God Anubis?


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4 thoughts on “Right and Wrong, Good and Evil, B&W, those are not such simple matters…

  1. I love how some people believe in god and the devil in REAL LIFE but then say depicting them in a tv show is too far fetched.

    bodao- “I have been a big fan of Lost for a while, and tell you what: of all things that could happen to make me very disappointed with Lost, the worst one would be to end up with such infantile, simple definitions of right and wrong, evil and good”
    Why couldn’t this be a story of good vs evil? There has been hundreds of GREAT stories throughout the years that surround the topic of good vs evil.

    If you dont believe what your about to say, WHY SAY IT?

    It seems to me that there is nothing that this show can do to please you so just write the ending yourself and stop watching.

  2. I agree bodao, the show is much more complex than just good and evil. I’ve said previously that there is no such thing. People aren’t one or the other, the complexities and greyness is what makes life so interesting.
    @wharfrat, I would be disappointed if that’s where the show went because that sin’t what I’ve bought into over the past 6 years. I love that Lost explores the shades of grey within each of us and questions the character’s motives, actions and intentions continually. That no right or wrong answers have been given, they have been left for the viewers to discuss and decide for themselves. I think that’s what this post is about, not feeding us what is good or evil, but leaving it ambiguous and complicated.

  3. Bodao, you confuse me a bit. You say that Lost is concerned with religious themes, and very rightly describe the story of Jacob and Esau, and even say that you very much enjoyed the seasons/episodes where religious symbolism was introduced. But then you go on to express dismay at the good vs. evil theme, which is at the heart of every major religion in man’s history. I agree that lots of situations are shades of gray, and that most people aren’t all good or all evil. BUT to say that evil doesn’t exist is ignoring all of history. And if you study Christianity you’ll see that God didn’t create evil–he gave man FREE WILL to choose to do good or evil, and when man chooses evil (like flying planes into buildings and killing innocent people, or mass murder a la Hitler or Pol Pot) it’s not God’s doing. It’s choices that God allows men to make that creates the evil. That’s how I see Jacob, he’s allowing people to look at their lives, and their situations, and to choose the right way, without having Jacob spell out for them exactly what to do. The Man in Black isn’t really a person at all–he’s the personification of all the evil that can exist in man’s heart that, if unchecked, would doom mankind.

  4. @wharfrat77, with so much uncalled for hatred in your post, I don’t know actually what to respond. Let me just say that I don’t believe in good and evil in real life, and that I’m not a religious person in the common sense, but that I’m very interested in religion and discussion of mankind, in every aspect. The idea of the post was to make people thing more about the subject, and I’m glad people are doing that.

    @Tas, I agree with you. Glad I’m not alone. See lieintheshadowofthestatue’s comment on imisscharlie post (The Simple Answer to Lost’s Biggest Question) – he seems to agree with us as well and has some very nice ideas about the series.

    @imisscharlie, I understand your point however I don’t see religion as good versus evil. That’s the whole point :). Of course religion is interpreted in many ways. But for me this whole idea of good x evil, god x devil, everything was very misinterpreted throughout time. One day people will realize that there’s a lot more to men and life than those simplistic ideas suggest. Thanks for contributing with the FREE WILL idea, you’re very right. I was just pointed out that for God to give us a choice, he has to first create the choices. Hence the creation of “evil”, if there exists such thing. What kind of test it is, and to what purpose, I don’t know. But that’s the point I was trying to make and maybe Lost is directing in a similar way and that would be much better than a simple “Good has won” finale. BTW, God didn’t have to create evil, this is just metaphoric comparison. All he had to do is create good. Evil comes as a consequence – there’s no good without evil. In the same way that there’s no light without darkness.

    I’m glad that the purpose of the post was achieved – make people thing a bit more about religion and how it affects lost. Thanks!

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