C.S. Lewis Arrives in LOST ~ BitterSweetLife

Friday, February 08, 2008

C.S. Lewis Arrives in LOST

C.S. Lewis has parachuted into LOST, and she's a girl.

In the second episode of LOST's fourth season, Charlotte Staples Lewis landed in a tree after bailing out of a helicopter, then cut herself free and plunged into a river below. She looked around, splashing like a happy child, apparently overjoyed at having arrived on the Island.

Clearly, there are significant layers of meaning waiting to be revealed here... But what are they?

I've been appreciative of the wide array of literary references LOST's writers have thrown in. Nods to the likes of Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness), Madeleine L'Engle (A Wrinkle in Time), Richard Adams (Watership Down) and even Stephen King have been obliquely clever.

But now they've really gone and done it. C.S. Lewis has been invoked, directly and brashly, and I feel that the upcoming episodes must justify this name-dropping in some significant way. After all, no other character has been named after an author. Doing so would seem to up the ante in terms of importance. There had better be a pay-off, is what I'm saying.

Here's some coverage from EW's Jeff Jensen:

I am utterly convinced Charlotte Staples Lewis has been to the Island before. Maybe it was her giggly delight as she splashed about in the Island's inland waters. True, the would-be freighter savior (or devil) could have been celebrating the mere fact that she had survived her harrowing arrival. But there was something more to her reaction — something that reminded me of another fantastical tale about an enchanted homecoming. The book is Prince Caspian, by C.S. Lewis, the sequel to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The story starts with a chapter called ''The Island,'' in which the Pevensie kids return to Narnia via a mysterious island marked by ancient ruins and odd creatures. First thing they do: play in the water. Maybe I'm just fishing again. But if you think I'm wrong, then you owe me a better explanation why Charlotte Staples Lewis has been assigned a name so conspicuously similar to the author's unfurled handle, Clive Staples Lewis.
So far so good, Jeff. Still, I think there had better be a little more significance to the handle than a return visit. Or am I asking too much?



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7 comments:

Andy said...

I like the Caspian reference, and it does put the FF in Season 3's finale in perspective...after the Pevensies' initial visit in LWW, they really don't return until Narnia needs them in Caspian. Perhaps that's why Jack can't return to the Island no matter how much he wants to...because the Island doesn't need him yet.

I think invoking Lewis implies there's a Narnia-esque timeline related to the Island...among other things. Keep in mind how so many of the characters are still emotionally and spiritually "lost", and haven't "found" themselves yet.

Will Hicks said...

C.S. Lewis isn't the only author they've named a character after.

Here's a full list (including philosophers): http://www.lostpedia.com/wiki/Philosophers

Will Robison said...

Most significant for me... the introduction of Charlotte Staples Lewis was the first time in LOST that I suddenly jumped up and yelled, "I KNOW THAT ONE!" Didn't slip it past me at all! Hah! ;)

Ariel said...

I think invoking Lewis implies there's a Narnia-esque timeline related to the Island...among other things. Keep in mind how so many of the characters are still emotionally and spiritually "lost", and haven't "found" themselves yet.

Good thought, Andy... stepping back helps to get the bigger picture. This just occurred to me: Am I right in thinking that everyone from Oceanic 815 who has died on the island had reached a "peace" of some kind? (I guess we can't be sure about the pilot.)

Here's a full list (including philosophers): http://www.lostpedia.com/wiki/Philosophers

I don't know how I missed John Locke. The others are more crafty...but yeah, I'm with Will. I started jumping up and down inside when Lewis made her appearance.

Bernard Shuford said...

I feel so stupid. I didn't get it :(

Ched said...

Brilliant.

I caught Mikhail Bahktin, and I didn't catch C.S. Lewis.

Repenting in dust and ashes,

Mike said...

Very nice. In addition to what was stated. She went to Oxford University in England, the same university that Clive Staples Lewis went to.

 

Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife