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Monday, June 7, 2010

Can we talk about LOST?

Raise your hands, how many people watched Lost beginning to end?--If you didn't and you don't want to hear about it, you can go away.  Also, if you don't want to hear what happens in the Chronicles of Narnia; go away.  And don't watch Lost.

Yeah, that's right everybody.  Lost completely stole the ending of the Chronicles of Narnia.  And I feel cheated.  BTW, I also felt cheated when I got to the end of Chronicles of Narnia, which I started reading because of my love of all things Harry Potter.  Oh, wait, you didn't know that they're all connected?

That's something that I learned in college.  I don't know about how much these days...But way back when, the spectrum of Literature was way condensed....I'm talking about Gilgamesh, Beowulf, OdysseyIliad, THE BIBLE...in the past people would tell and retell the same stuff over and over again, and eventually the good stuff was all written down, and everybody read it.  Eventually more stuff was added, but the people who added stuff, got their education from the original stuff.  So readers who wanted to get a better understanding of the NEW stuff--Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dante--would go back and read the OLD stuff, and then they could interpret how they all relate together.  It's the same today, people are still inspired by stories that were written or told at the beginning of civilization.  It's just that so many things have been written since the dawn of time and the invention of the printing press, that there is a lot more to keep up with.

I had the luck to be reading Harry Potter while I was in college and being assigned to read all the classics at the same time.  I could see how Harry Potter connects the history of literature and mythical classics to an entirely new generation of readers.  At the same time, in the middle of my fanatical Harry Potter phase, I happened upon a book by John Granger (The Hidden Key to Harry Potter), that made some very interesting points.  While many people were arguing that Harry Potter was trying to teach children witchcraft, Mr. Granger (no relation to Hermione) argued that Harry Potter was the opposite, and in fact relating similar Christian beliefs and themes as the touted works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

And after reading this, I said, "Oh yeah?  We'll see about that."  So over my summer vacation, I picked up The Chronicles of Narnia.  And I liked them.  Until I got to the ending, and was like, "What the heck!?!?!?!?  I thought these were supposed to be children's books?????  Are you serious????  Seriously????"

Are we still talking about Lost?  Yes we are.

So, The Chronicles of Narnia starts out as a seemingly fun kid's adventure series, where four siblings are sent away to the country during the bombing of WWII London.  The sibs run around, making up games, playing hide and go seek, and stumble upon the magical world of Narnia.  Although I knew and was expecting Christian undertones in the series, it wasn't heavy-handed, and honestly I didn't grasp it all until I saw how it was portrayed in the movie.  Ok, Christian undertones, no biggie, it's not preachy, so you can read it with or without the subtext.  That is, until you get to the end of the series, when it is blatantly Christian.

So let's compare:  Three of the four siblings from the first book returning as main characters in the last book of The Chronicles of Narnia, The Last Battle.  The book begins with the siblings boarding a train...right before a horrible train crash.  What's that?  Train crash?  Doesn't the beginning of Lost start with a plane crash?  How interesting?

Thank goodness the sibs are transported to the safety of Narnia, the magical haven of their childhood.  Wait--on lost, don't the survivors of the plane crash wake up on a magical island?

But there weren't any Christian undertones to Lost--They didn't have a savior, called Shepherd, who's father was the mysterious Christian Shepherd.  Something like that would have been totally obvious.

And then the characters of Lost go through years of trying to leave, trying to get back, trying to leave.  Whereas the children of Narnia, fight off evil, found a kingdom, and grow up in Narnia, before then returning to their childhoods in England, and questioning the reality of Narnia.  Over the years, the children, try various ways of getting back to Narnia, and are only able to get back when it's least expected.  Oh, hmmm, that's kind of the same as Lost.

And then, the long awaited ending...In The Last Battle, Narnia is being ripped apart.  Aslan, the lion returns to show everyone the way home--Oh, but wait little Pevensie children, you can't go back to London--Don't you remember?--You were in a horrible train crash.  Um, yeah, you died.  Totally cool, though, you'll like heaven.

What's that you say, creators of Lost?  The characters WERE in a horrible plane crash that they never could have survived?  You mean, all this time they were walking around this magical Island, they were really dead the whole time?  And now that Jack and Kate and Sawyer and Locke and Sayid and Hurley, and Claire and everybody has fought their last battle, and they're ready to go home, they all finally realize that they're dead, so they meet up together in a CHURCH, and can finally move on to the hereafter, heaven, whatever that is.

No, you're totally right Lost creators, you had numbers and a polar bear, that's nothing like the Chronicles of Narnia; you didn't steal the whole thing from C.S. Lewis.

And as long as we're here, as much as I love you, J.K. Rowling...um, were you really finished???  I totally LOVE Harry and the whole series, and I'm glad he lived and everything--He certainly couldn't be "The-Boy-Who-Lived," if he'd died, so good call there.  Anyway, um, the ending just felt kind of rushed to me...a little empty...I mean, I love it when things tie up neatly, but...really, it just ends???  Just like that?  It seemed kind of quick, that's all I'm saying.

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