Author Topic: Book Hurley came across  (Read 3845 times)

Offline ericd543

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Re: Book Hurley came across
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2010, 07:15:59 PM »
Just got a positive ID on the book.   Dostoevsky's 'Notes From The Underground'

Also some good evidence that he bag was Alana's bag, since it was with the Russian book.

Interesting thing about this existential book from Wikipedia:

War is described as people's rebellion against the assumption that everything needs to happen for a purpose, because humans do things without purpose, and this is what determines human history.

Thanks zekeloveslost! That it is the first existential novel is very interesting to me. I've been reading about existentialism as part of a theory I've posted over in T&S section. I am reading up on the wiki article and will order book. lol These existentialists are onto something and I think Lost has it in there too.

I'm thinking Lost is comparing a rationalist perspective to a existentialist one. The rationalists like Locke and Hume are about finding a way for society to exist to its greatest potential -- human rights (the right to exist) and finding laws about how men can live with each other (social contracts). And the existentialists are about studying existence from a subjective perspective -- the world is meaningless except for the meaning we create.

The scene with Libby and Hurley in the doctor's office seemed to show how these two perspectives can be contrasted. The doctor has a rationalist approach to "seeing things" and being delusional about remembering weird stuff from another life. Libby asks Hurley if he believes in love at first sight, and has this crazy story about how she remembers him. Hurley, with a nudge from Desmond, makes his choice to follow up, they go on a date and he gets a taste of the crazy too.

To call this "crazy" point of view existentialist is a stretch, and the more I read about it the more I see it everywhere, but the idea that your life is the product of the choices you make, and because life has no objective meaning it is important to live life passionately, you only go around once, the world is what you make it, we make our own heaven and we make our own hell -- this fits in with existentialism very well, and I see it as something that Hurley has discovered.

The rationalists think that reason is what man should strive to achieve. The existentialists believe that to be human is to be free to choose whatever path you like, knowing that your life is the product of the choices you make.

My brother sent me a link to this article exploring an objectivist (Rand) vs an existentialist (Sartre) point of view.

To Rand, man's potential is a path already forged. He just has to choose to take that path. It is like the embryo of the oak tree which is already in the acorn. The choice is to become a strong or weak oak tree. Sartre would rather see man as facing an open field where the path must be forged by him, that being a man means deciding what a man will be. Any hint of a pre-existing path that may be better than another is a threat to man's freedom and responsibility. It keeps morality descriptive rather than allowing it to be prescriptive. It keeps us from moving from "is" to "ought." Where's the challenge, after all, in just determining the best path and taking it? What happens when the field is open or all paths are the same or there is not enough information to weigh to determine the best pre-existing path? Existentialism allows for man to create his own best path, even if it may go too far in ignoring facts of survival with which we all must deal.

Sometimes I wonder if I am going crazy, seeing existentialism in everything, and then someone drops Dostoevsky's 'Notes From The Underground' onto my tv screen. Thanks! It helps me keep the faith that, "existentialism, it's in there."

That and the slide in Room 23 that said "we are the causes of our own suffering" overlaid on an image of graveyard. I mean, "Come On!" It is soo in there! lol  ;) :D ;D

Offline zeekloveslost

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Re: Book Hurley came across
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2010, 03:00:46 PM »
Eric - You're not nuts. I'm a fan of existentialism and I see it in a lot of places too. I had a volunteer job at this place whose parking lot only had once entrance, and down at the other end was a big red sign that said "NO EXIT" and every time I saw it I thought of Sartre and "hell is other people".

The message in room 23 is spot on too.  Because of the multitude of characters in the Lost universe who are names for great philosophers, it is not unreasonable to think that this is a main theme in the show either.

I'm headed over to the T&S to read your theory now :)

... back. I read the post, chewed it over in my head and responded - only took me 3 hours. Ha! (well, I AM at work!)
« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 05:59:40 PM by zeekloveslost »