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April 21, 2010

LOST and Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'

Chris Seay weighs in on Tuesday's LOST episode, "The Last Recruit"


Chris Seay, author of The Gospel According to Lost, chimes in on the developments in Tuesday's episode of LOST, "The Last Recruit." (SPOILERS AHEAD) Seay notes that Jack is "a different man; our man of science is now a man of faith." He says that perhaps the episode's best reveal "was the fact that Sayid and Claire may not be beyond redemption," but that the episode's most important came in the few seconds of scenes from next week, when the words on the screen, accompanying images of John Locke, read, "His soul had gone mad being in the wilderness." Seay notes that the quote comes from Joseph Conrad's novella, Heart of Darkness, a book that "parallels LOST in so many ways," says Seay, "because it’s the prototypical framing story, this story within a story. The story that you’re walking through isn’t really what it’s all about." Seay notes that the quote used in those scenes are further indication that, like in Conrad's book, the evil that we should truly fear is not "out there," but within ourselves.


Glad someone had the same reaction to Sun and Jin running towards each other, my heart just about jumped out of my chest.. thought they were gonners!

So, Chris, when you keep saying you think the MiB "is Esau" do you mean you think it is ACTUALLY and literally the biblical Esau and this is the biblical Jacob? Or that he is just an allusion to Esau? Just looking for some clarification.

I'm not sure I buy MIB's claim that he appeared to Jack as Christian Shephard. It may turn out to be true, but I still wonder.

Christian appeared in the context of the whipering voices just before Michael died on the exploding freighter at the close of season 4. We learned last week that the voices belonged to spirits of the dead who were unable to leave the island (ie: ghost Michael).

Christian has also appeared to Jack off the island in the lobby of his hosptal late at night.

Who knows, maybe Jack was just hallucinating, but the implications of Christian's appearance with the whispers raises some implications. MIB claims he cannot leave the island. If he cannot leave the island, then he should not have been able to appear on the freighter.

We've been told this season that, for now, MIB cannot take another form (other than smoke). If Ghost Christian's appearances = MIB, and Christian as been associated with the whispers, that means Ghost Michael last week was really MIB. That doesn't follow with what we've been given. Are character's lying when they give us information, or have the writers simply made careless mistakes. I don't know.

There's also the matter of Christian's empty coffin. MIB said Locke needed to be dead before he could take Locke's appearance. We have Locke's body -- where is Christian's?

Hoping these little enigma's earn at least a little attention by the end of this tale.

I agree Taj that there is great confusion on who is and who is not the MIB on the island. For example, MIB clearly appeared as Alex (Ben's daughter) to Ben late in season 5, and as Christian Shephard to Sun and Lapidus (assuming that was MIB), but Ilanna told Ben this season that MIB is trapped appearing as John Locke/or smoke. But then how did he appear as Alex and Christian Shephard? I also, like you, find it hard to understand how Christian appeared both to Jack off the Island and Michael before the freighter blew up if he is trapped on the island? I think that what MIB says cannot always be trusted and I hope they clear things up by the finale. I do think, however, that Michael was telling the truth that the voices are the dead trapped on the island. We get MIB and Jacob's back story in just 2 more episodes!

Great post, sir. I also noted the quote and posted something earlier on our discussion forums about the parallels between HoD and Lost. The Exodus narrative hadn't occurred to me, so thank you for that. Heck, one of the episodes is named Exodus!