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Literary works/Theories

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Main Article Theories about
Literary works
Main Discussion
 Theories may be removed if ... 
  1. Stated as questions or possibilities (avoid question marks, "Maybe", "I think", etc).
  2. More appropriate for another article.
  3. Illogical or previously disproven.
  4. Proven by canon source, and moved to main article.
  5. Speculative and lacking any evidence to support arguments.
  6. Responding to another theory (use discussion page instead).
  • This does not include responses that can stand alone as its own theory.
  • Usage of an indented bullet does not imply the statement is a response.

See the Lostpedia theory policy for more details.

A Brief History of Time

Black holes and singularities

As discussed in A Brief History of Time, near to a black hole unusual physical effects occur such as:

This indicates that the Island is something analogous to a black hole.

Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret

A Wrinkle in Time

  • The Island interacts with time in an unusual way, producing effects similar to those in A Wrinkle in Time.

Bad Twin

Main article: Bad Twin/Theories

Our Mutual Friend

Ourmutualfriend2
  • The story of Desmond will closely follow that of the main character in Our Mutual Friend; therefore, Penelope is the main character's love and Charles Widmore is the business tycoon. The story is slightly different in that Penelope is the one forced by her father (Charles Widmore) to marry a certain person, rather than Desmond, and Desmond is the one who is offered the money. Desmond's disappearance while sailing in the race and getting shipwrecked on the Island, however, parallels the character in Our Mutual Friend being believed dead. When Desmond leaves the Island, he will return home, win back Penelope, and regain his identity.
  • On the Season 2 DVD set, on the special feature "Lost Connections", many characters are seen to be connected to one person who is only seen briefly, in shadow. The survivors all may have been chosen to be on flight 815 by one person, Our Mutual Friend. Alternately, maybe there are more than one mutual friend, a consortium, if you will, consisting of Mr. Paik, Christian Shepherd, Alvar Hanso, Charles Widmore, and possibly others yet to be revealed.
Our Mutual Friend
  • Desmond is a sort of Mutual Friend as in he met both Jack and Libby prior to the crash.
  • A sort of anti-Oedipus. Both stories together meld overtones about fate, good people versus bad people, etc.
  • The fact that the book was returned to Desmond upon his release suggests that he was in possession of the book at the time of his crime or subsequent arrest. Therefore the book may reappear in an upcoming episode's flashback revealing that crime, and it may represent yet another occasion on which he had been tempted to read the book. Penny's insertion of the note may also appear in a flashback.
  • When Desmond is returned the book and explains to the guard its significance, the guard replies that if he wants it to be the last book he reads before he dies then that would require that he know when he is going to die. This may have some significance to the fact that we have recently learned that Desmond has abilities that allow him to see how and when certain characters are going to die.

Rainbow Six

The Bible

Arrowbible

The Numbers could refer to Psalms from the King James Bible:

  • Psalm 4: An Evening Prayer of Trust in God
  • Psalm 8: God's Glory & Man's Honor
  • Psalm 15: Inhabitants of God's Holy Hill
  • Psalm 16: A Goodly Heritage
  • Psalm 23: The Lord is My Shepherd
  • Psalm 42: Thirsting for God
  • Psalm 108: A Prayer for Help Against the Foe

This notion is also supported by what Eko said to Locke when giving him the Bible he'd found, "I believe what's inside there will be of great value to you". Although he was referring to the tape inside, it could also be a nod from the show's writers.

The Brothers Karamazov

The Brother Karamazov
  • The brothers in The Brothers Karamazov fall into three allegorical categories of human experience, which are linked to characters in Lost:

There is a fourth illegitimate brother, Smerdyakov, who is an epileptic and kills their father, but all of the brothers are complicit in the murder in some way. All 3 of the Lost characters have major conflicts with a father figure and, as in the case of Jack and moreso Locke, may have had an indirect/direct involvement in their deaths. This corresponds to the Oedipal complex located in the brothers of the novel. Ben Linus is clearly the character that mostly corresponds to the devious Smerdyakov, the epilepsy in the novel can be compared to Ben's spinal injury in the show.

In "Brothers", as well as in Lost , there is a possibility that all three are representative parts of a single - and in essence, every - self, which would make even more powerful Sawyer's presence when Dr. Shephard declares his love and remorse before his death. For if they are all parts of a whole, then Dr. Shephard is in a sense Sawyer's father as well; this would explain Sawyer's complicity in the murder of Christian. Jack provides the guilt, Sawyer provides the alcohol. Locke's connection with these two in the story-line is still unclear, but his conflicts with his own father - and his father's unknown fate up until this point - lend credence to this theory. The suggestion that the world of Lost may be inside the head of Hurley may instead be a cryptic suggestion that the world of Lost is a struggle for belief in the apparent heads (read: head singular) of multiple characters, and by extension, all of us.

The reference to the fourth brother, Smerdyakov, may not be a "brother" in literal terms. Kate was directly responsible for the death of her real father, although potentially illegitimate in the eyes of her adoptive father. She could be the reference to the fourth "brother", specifically in the elder Karamazov's mistreatment of the woman (aka 'Stinking Lizaveta') who bore Smerdyakov-- this is in line with the abuse of Mrs. Austen at the hands of Kate's father. However, Ben's intentions in killing his father were perhaps more closely-related to Smerdyakov, as Kate's murder isn't Oedipal nor personally-motivated as both Ben and Smerdyakov's patricides are.

  • Claire is Jack's half sister (as revealed in "Two for the Road"), and this woman, as a "bastard" (traditionally, any child born out of wedlock), could represent the Smerdyakov character. Recall that Claire is directly responsible for the death of her own mother due to a car accident while Claire was at the wheel. This is a reverse-Oedipal complex situation.
    • In the book, Smerdyakov was the one who ACTUALLY killed Karamazov, though he tried to maneuver his brother Dimitry into doing it (similar to Ben's manipulative ways.) He also convinces Ivan to leave town at a critical juncture, implying that Ivan doesn't care what happens to his father. Smerdyakov ultimately hangs himself at the end of the book, and his brother Dimitri is blames for the murder of their father. If this is all an allegory for Jack's father's death, does that mean that Claire killed Jack's father, after Sawyer came close to doing it?

The Mysterious Island

3x20 namaste sign
  • Namaste is a Hindu / Indian greeting. Captain Nemo is revealed to be Prince Dakkar, of India. Is Alvar Hanso, or perhaps Magnus Hanso, Captain Nemo, kept alive by the Life Extension Project? (Nemo dies "onscreen" at the end of The Mysterious Island, and the Island blows up.)
  • The events on Lincoln Isle were covered up by Jules Verne. The serialized publication of the story was discovered, in progress, by the surviving Captain Nemo, and he paid Jules Verne to give him a decent literary death, to avoid the chaos that would result if his survival was known.
Joop

Joop

  • Joop is 40 years older than the Hanso Foundation claims, and is the original "master Jup". However, in the novel, Joop dies when the Island explodes from volcanic activity.
  • Nemo's island is the Oceanic 815 Island. However, in the novel, the Island is destroyed in an explosion from volcanic activity. All that remains above the Pacific Ocean is a small piece of granite big enough for six people. However, nearby Tabor Island that held Ayrton could be the Lost island. However, it seems the lostaways are on a tropical island at a much higher latitude.
  • The mystery of the cable leading into the ocean: In The Mysterious Island, the castaways follow a telegraph cable over land that leads into the sea. They soon discover that the cable leads to an underground grotto that can be accessed only during low tide. It is here that they discover the Nautilus and Captain Nemo.
  • There is a major time discrepancy in the Captain Nemo storyline when transitioning over from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. A sixteen year period should have only been three. Is there time dilation going on here? Perhaps the Hanso Foundation's Life Extension Project?
  • In The Mysterious Island, the castaway leader Cyrus Smith is discovered well inland on the Island unconscious. The dog Top was somehow with him and brought the remaining castaways to him. The mystery through most of the book is who brought him inland? In the opening scene of season one, Jack finds himself in the woods and staring at the dog Vincent. Perhaps the writers will reveal that this first opening scene has a different meaning. That Jack didn't just land in the woods during the crash but was put there by someone else (an other?).
  • The Lostaways will create more permanent settlements. In the first two years of The Mysterious Island, the castaways had (without any supplies) determined their latitude and longitude, and made bricks, clothing, pottery, smelted iron, steel, sulphuric acid, gunpowder, soap, nitroglycerine/dynamite, glass, houses, a sloop (boat), bridges, a windmill, an elevator, a battery, wire, and telegraph communications. They also domesticated sheep, fowl, beasts of burden, and the monkey Joop. They also established agriculture with large fields of wheat.

The Third Policeman

Hell goes 'round and round'

Thethirdpoliceman

This element of the plot of The Third Policeman, which is revealed in the last pages of the book, may be crucial:

  • Michael and Walt will never escape the Island.
    • This seems unlikely, since they would have returned by now.
    • Although they might have already, only they are 'hiding' at another place on the Island. Michael still feels guilty for killing Ana Lucia and Libby, and for betraying his friends. Thus he is affraid to confront them again.
  • Indeed, escape from the Island for anyone is impossible. They are destined to live the rest of their lives on the Island over and over again.
    • This seems unlikely, as this idea can be compared with the purgatory theory, which has been debunked.
      • The Catholic belief of purgatory is not the same thing as the plot of The Third Policeman. In purgatory, the souls are released to heaven at some point.
  • Supports the Snowglobe idea.

The Turn of the Screw

Theturnofthescrew
  • The Turn of the Screw's narrator is famously unreliable. The fact that the Swan Orientation Film is hidden behind the novel may suggest the unreliability of the film's narrator, Dr. Marvin Candle.
  • Might also be important to mention that Henry James, the author, often wrote novels dealing with consciousness on different levels. He was the brother of William James, a psychologist and philosopher who had theories involving consciousness as well, which were closely based on theories originating from John Locke (the original). This could indicate a connection or clue that state(s) of consciousness are somehow involved in the show.
  • The Turn of the Screw is seen by many critics as being effective because of its pervasive ambiguity, driven by the omission of important information and the contradictory account by the unreliable narrator. The frustration of the reader's attempt to nail down a single coherent interpretation of the events in the novel contributes to its disturbing and fascinating effect. The writers of Lost may be striving for a similar atmosphere of fascinating ambiguity, and included the book as an homage.

The Valenzetti Equation (book)

457px-Valenzettiequationfull

The Valenzetti Equation

  • At some point (possibly during the summer of 2007), the book will be available to purchase in stores.

Watchmen

Watchmen
  • In Watchmen, Jon Osterman goes through an experimental process not meant for humans; He's locked in a test vault, where radiation is being used to separate objects from their intrinsic fields (working off the intrinsic field theory that there is something more than gravity holding objects together). After his body is disassembled by the radiation, Jon gradually reforms himself, albeit naked (and blue). In his new form, Jon, or Dr. Manhattan, was loose in time, perceiving all time as one time – effectively, he was capable of knowing the future, but in knowing it, was also incapable of altering it. Instead, even as the most powerful character in the book, he seemed swept along with time and events, as though progress were a tide. This could be seen as having a connection to the experience Desmond went through when the Hatch imploded – perhaps he has been disassembled, and reassembled, and now is seeing events from outside of localized time. In other words, for Desmond, all time is becoming one-time, the present and the future colliding with one another until the two are indiscernible.

A Stranger In a Strange Land

Moshe who named his son Gershom (A stranger in a strange land), eventually lead the Jewish people out their captivity in the land of Egypt. This would make sense with Jack trying to lead his "people" off the Island.

  • It's hard to miss the Heinlein reference. Heinlein's Stranger was a human raised by martians who created a church/cult/sideshow with himself as the savior. He also had strange powers.


The Tempest

Lost is the The Tempest and all things happing in the show are from the play.

  • act 3 scene 1 line 32 "Poor worm, thow art infected"
  • act 2 scene 2 line 163 "oh brave monster! lead the way"
  • act 5 scene 1 line 233 "And-how, we know not-all clapped under hatches"


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