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Watership Down - More Interesting than First Thought

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Watershipdown
Watership Down is a book by Richard Adams. Boone packed it in his luggage. Sawyer is seen reading it in multiple episodes in Season One. Most appear to have assumed that the reason for the book's inclusion in LOST is that its allegory of a displaced community struggling for survival mimics that of the Losties. I think it goes much deeper than that.

Wikipedia says that Watership Down "explores the themes of exile, survival, heroism, political responsibility, and the making of a hero and a community".... This theme derives from the author's exposure to the works of mythologist Joseph Campbell, especially his study of comparative mythology, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), and in particular, Campbell's "monomyth" theory, also based on Carl Jung's view of the unconscious mind, that "all the stories in the world are really one story."

The influence of Joseph Campbell is key. Watership Down author, Richard Adams, directly pays homage to Joseph Campbell in epithets in the book itself. Richard Adams is the first person to speak of the influence of Joseph Campbell in the 1987 documentary, The Hero's Journey: The World of Joseph Campbell. Interestingly, Joseph Campbell had a tradition of spending every birthday at the Esalen Institute, a real-world Dharma initiative. He also spoke there and gave a series of lectures that ultimately seeded his monumental work on the monomyth, which serves as a DNA map of the storytelling methods that truly communicate to the soul of the audience.

If you doubt the strength of this connection between Watership Down and Joseph Campbell, consider a more outright reference in the extras found in A Hero’s Journey (LOST: the Complete Sixth and Final Season: Extras) There you will find a segment entitled A Hero’s Journey. This segment is broken into several parts, each beginning with a quote from Joseph Campbell and the writers of LOST discussing his influences within the story.

J.J. Abrams, one of the creators and producers of LOST, attended Sarah Lawrence College, where Joseph Campbell taught for 38 years. Though Campbell retired 12 or so years before Abrams arrival, Joseph Campbell's influence on the campus and its curriculums, along with an archive of Campbell's lecture notes most certainly had a ripple effect on Abrams. As a fellow blogger put it, Abrams probably "sat a dimly lit room at Sarah Lawrence College and poured over the notes of a man whom I will forever call The Master of Stories."

Joseph Campbell's influence is directly attributed by the creators of Star Wars, The Matrix, The Lion King, and other familiar blockbusters. (see Wikipedia article).

The reason for the inclusion of Watership Down in LOST is to pay homage to the influence of Joseph Campell and his monumental work on myth, storytelling, and the hero's journey.

LOST --Mystimus 02:41, April 7, 2011 (UTC)

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