In actuality, the location would be paradise. Paradise…I say to myself. My nerdy English Literature brain kicks in 5 years after I graduate (finally!), and a theory is born. I’m sure anyone who has taken English in University knows about Paradise Lost – a book written by John Milton, a political activist in the 1600s, who attacked the ways of the church despite his own religious upbringing and desire to be a priest, even facing imprisonment in 1663 for his controversial essays. It was there, in jail, that Milton wrote Paradise Lost, and now I can’t help, in all my nerdy glory, but see the relation from Milton's book to our favourite TV show, LOST.
In a very short summary, so as not to bore you, Paradise Lost is almost like a bad ass bible dealing with predominant themes of repentance, hope and redemption. Basically, Milton re-tells the story of Adam and Eve and their fall from grace his own way - all caused by an evil "fallen" angel named Satan. But in the story, it all comes out in the wash that God, knowing how sorry they are for succumbing to Satan's trickery, is able to forgive them. And although sentencing Adam and Eve to an imperfect world, he forgives them, knowing that Christ (his son) has agreed to redeem them by dying for their sins. Heavy, eh? So, here’s where I see the parallels in a nutshell:
1st and foremost" Paradise Lost tells the story of Satan, and how he waged a war with his “rebel angels” against God. God then sentences Satan to fiery pits of hell as the leader of his “fallen angels”. Satan learns about Adam and Eve - the first humans - and decides to trick them into sinning, just to mess up God’s plan to start the human race. He fancies this his revenge on God. So, to do this, Satan disguises himself as a serpent and manipulates Adam and Eve to sin and fucks up God’s plan. Hello, does this sound not sound like Ben and all the people on the island? Not only is Ben psycho, and trying to mess with human lives, cloning babies, master minding all these elaborate schemes to keep everyone from going home, but also, his “rebel” angels (Jack, Kate, Sawyer, John – all who are certainly rebels with their own vices to a certain degree) literally “fell” from the sky, and have landed on this chaotic island, almost as punishment for every crime or sin they've committed.
Futhermore, in Paradise Lost, Milton makes Satan a sympathetic character, one we actually feel sorry for. Like Ben, whose mother dies and whose father was a jerk – we almost feel sorry for him and understand how he had no choice but to be a bad manipulative little seed.
Secondly, in Paradise Lost, although Adam and Eve have sinned, Christ (God's son) decides to re-incarnate himself in the future and sacrifice himself to repent their (and the rest of human race’s) sins. Adam and Eve genuinely feel sorry, and so God forgives them because Christ is willing to die on their behalf. HELLO? John Locke is totally the Christ figure – not only does he actually say the words “I think I can save us” in the last episode, but he willingly decides to die in order to save everyone on the Island, knowing he'll be resurrected.
And judging from last week's episode, Jack's dad Christian (the name says it all, no?) is playing God – he tells John what he has to do, and also lets John know that Ben is just a fool, much like God forsees all of Satan’s wicked plans, although Satan thinks he's extra sneaky. What a fool!
And the third reason why I think this makes sense? John Milton wrote his poem in the style of Homer’s Odyssey, a Greek epic poem about Odysseus, who spends 10 years lost at sea (including being enslaved on an island for 7 years), before he gets back home to his love, Penelope, marries her and has a son. Yep, just like Desmond, who gets lost at sea, becomes enslaved on the Island, but finally makes it home to his true love, Penelope, and has a son. They even used the same name in this situation!
Lastly – is the title not enough on it’s own? “Lost” is the second half of the title “Paradise Lost” and the first half, "paradise" seems to be depicted through the “paradise” island they live on – in all it’s natural beauty, it is actually hell – a perfect home for rebel angels, as they cannot enjoy the beauty of this place for what it is.
So what does this mean? If I’m correct then, I predict that Ben will end like Satan who thinks he’s succeeded at fucking up God’s human race and arrives back to announce his triumph to his angels, but just as he announces it, God turns him into a real serpent ..deflated, humiliated, and with no more power – as good as death but probably better. So I think either Ben will die, or else he will be reduced to nothing, incapacitated, with no power at all, but living long enough to feel humiliated.
And the others? Like the fallen angels, I think some will truly learn from their mistakes, and be allowed back into the "human" world again, given a second chance. Those who don’t care will either stay on the island or die. Let’s see if I’m right!