Wednesday, October 25, 2006

John Locke: Faith Healer

For you "Lost" fans, here's my theory about John Locke.

One place I think I deviate from a number of established fans is that I don't revel in the fact Locke has embraced his inner "hunter". I appreciate the fact that he fancies himself the Big White Hunter and is trying to reject the "farmer" aspect of his personality - in his flashbacks we see him repeatedly being taken advantage for his trusting and forgiving nature, so he naturally wishes to rebel against that persona by becoming Mr. Mystical Tough-Guy. I think, though, that he is a farmer and always will be - and that to grow as a character and a person, he needs to understand there can be as much strength in that nurturing, creating aspect of life rather than as a leader/hunter and that's where he needs to focus himself.

There's a big difference in his personalities in the flashbacks and how he acts on the island (a lot of that has to do with his being bald, too) - he seized the opportunity to "rebirth" himself after the crash with the healing of his legs and decided he could "rebirth" himself into that hunter persona he always wanted to have. In fact, it started earlier when he decided to go on Walkabout. But his true nature keeps coming through (having "faith" in the Island, the Hatch, and the Button to a fault) and the battle between the two natures doesn't do him any good.

Course, now he's going to go and rescue Jack/Sawyer/Kate and be The Big Man. We'll see how far he gets... because he's not a Hunter. He's pretending to be one.

Let me explain...

Before Locke land on the island he is a man who is doubly handicapped - 1) He has handicapped himself mentally (he thinks himself a social cripple - a farmer - and wants to escape that and become a hunter (go on a Walkabout), and 2) he's physically crippled (legs).

When he lands on the island, his legs are healed! The island is the place that can offer him redemption and rebirth into the new Hunter persona. Since nobody knows anything about him from the past, he can shed the Farmer and become the Hunter. Only he keeps screwing up because he doesn't know how to be a Hunter - he just wants to be. I mean, he can hunt and kill boar but he really wants to be a Leader and that takes more than tracking game.

Was he a Leader when he led Booth down the primrose path and ended up getting him killed? Nope. That's why Booth's come back to haunt him.

Was he a Leader when trying to take charge of the Hatch and the button? Nope. BOOM.

But here's the thing...

If he leaves the island he believes his legs will fail again and he'll have to go back to the way he was - in fact (here's the big revelation that's coming) I think his paralysis is psychosomatic. I don't think there was anything wrong with his legs in the first place. Sometime before he went to Australia for Walkabout, he convinced himself he was a cripple, so he became one. Most likely as a result of the commune experience, something will happen that causes something to snap in his brain - not his spine - and he loses the use of his legs because he thinks he deserves to. And he's eaten up with guilt and self-doubt because of it.

He thinks the island healed him, but in fact after the crash he did it himself - because there was never anything wrong with him in the first place. He just "had faith" and believed.

Heh. Locke the Faith Healer.

That's why he needs to understand he can have faith in himself as a Farmer, not a Leader, and make just as important a contribution to the group as the others (not the Others, but the other Lostaways).

Will he figure this out as he tries to rescue Jack and the others? Is this what Ben/Henry saw in him that made him want to "save" him?

Maybe we'll find some of that out tonight. I rather think it'll come in about two weeks... We'll see.

Gotta have faith.

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