Friday, May 8, 2009

John Locke as a Christ-type metaphor

Sarah Eliza asked after my post yesterday what Christ-metaphors I'd seen, and my response was so long I had to just start a new post.

I think the clearest, boldest example of Locke being compared to Christ was Locke's message (apparently to himself) that he would have to die in order to save the island and the people. Christian Shepherd led John's battered and dying body to the place where he turned the wheel - so like the Christ's walk to Golgotha. And then of course... he rose again.

In "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" there's a striking scene where John's arms are outstretched in the shape of a cross before Ben kills him and Ben is kneeling in front of him - clearly a picture of Christ.

Locke's body is taken back to the island on flight 3:16 - a reference to John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son".

In addition Locke's mom went crazy and claimed she was a virgin..

Most relevant is Ben's conversation with Jack (the prototype of a skeptic) in the Lampost station (which is inside a church), in which Ben is characteristically evasive and talks about doubting Thomas.

"BEN: Thomas, the Apostle. When Jesus wanted to return to Judea, knowing that he probably would be murdered there, Thomas said to the others, "Let us all go that we might die with him." But Thomas was not remembered for this bravery. His claim to fame came later [pauses] when he refused to acknowledge the resurrection. He just couldn't wrap his mind around it. The story goes that he needed to touch Jesus' wounds to be convinced.
JACK: So, was he?
BEN: Of course he was. We're all convinced sooner or later Jack."

I wrote this right after that episode: "Well, if that is the metaphor we're running on, and Jack is doubting Thomas, then is John Locke the dying savior? Apparently, considering this week Locke is suddenly alive again on the island after his death in real-time."

I loved this comment from's Lostwatch about Locke's agonizing, doubt-filled approach to his own death:

"I was going to write that this undermines the Christ parallels that some have drawn for Locke, but thinking about it, it makes him more Christlike--in the sense that you can feel him wishing, if I remember my Gospels correctly, that this cup could pass from him. Faith for him isn't some Zen-like impermeable armor. It's an ill-fitting burial suit. Faith is hard, and O'Quinn's every-nerve-ending-exposed performance shows us that. You can feel every hurt, from the physical pain to his heartbreak over Helen."

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