April 10, 2009

Fate, Faith and The Monster

Turns out destiny is not such a fickle bitch, at least not for Benjamin Linus.

The Monster, a phantom barely mentioned in the last several seasons of Lost, finally reared its smokey head this week. Ben summons The Monster to be judged for the murder of his daughter Alex and his departure from the island. (We learned from a series of flashbacks that Charles Widmore was banned from the island after it was discovered that he was making frequent trips to visit his daughter Penelope.) We can assume Ben fears the same abandonment.

Killing some (most notably Mr. Eko and Nadine) and sparing others (Locke in Season 1) , it is unclear The Monster's reasoning behind who shall live and who shall die. I would think Ben's lies, deceit, torture and murderous plots, would have earned him a spot on the to die list, but not according to The Monster. Instead it merely revealed to Ben the sequence of events leading up to Alex's murder and then brought Alex or the ghost of Alex to Ben to deliver a message - if he kills Locke (again) he will die.

Ben is now forced to put his trust and faith in John Locke. Relinquishing this control pains him more than if The Monster were to destroy him. It's now his turn to have faith in his fate.

The only plausible explanation for Ben being spared comes from Locke's sarcastic words of comfort before Ben goes to stand before The Monster. "If what you did was for the benefit of the island, The Monster will spare you." Whether or not his actions have truthfully been to protect the island or for his own selfish gain has yet to be determined.

Luckily for Ben, The Monster or God or the show's writers, don't want to see him go. Sayid's attempt to kill pre-adolescent Ben in the Episode "He's Our You," actually sets into motion a series of events that ultimately create the immoral Ben we all know and love.

I have been wrestling with the question of where Ben's loyalties lie, and the only answer I have been able to come up with is Ben, like all of the other characters, is neither totally good or evil. He is a result of growing up motherless with an abusive/drunken father. I can't help but liken him to the character of Severus Snape in Harry Potter. While throughout all seven books it seems Snape is actually playing a mole to Voldemort, he turns out to be one of the good guys, but tainted by his dislike for Harry's father and brutal treatment by his classmates as a child.

1 comment:

Liz said...

I think that's really insightful. That's all.