Sunday, May 16, 2010

LOST: baby talk (aka "What's the deal with not having babies on the Island?")


It isn't really about fertility, right? On the Island you can certainly MAKE babies, but you can't HAVE babies. The sad problem is that mothers and babies do not survive labor.


Consider this: the pregnancy issues on the Island only affect the Others. Conception is unimpeded, but delivery while on the Island is.

When you become an Other, you get baptized in the Temple spring. This automatically enrolls you in the Island health plan, gets you a place in the Other community, possibly grants you a specialty talent/gift, and infuses you with protection against monsters, courtesy of the Protector's life force/powers. In return for these benefits, at least one of which is basically an absolute requirement for long-term peaceful survival on the (Monster) Island, you must give up the opportunity to reproduce and remain on the Island. You can have and raise your child, but only as an Other/Island exile.

We really have only one test case to examine (Eloise Hawking and Daniel Faraday), so this notion of exile could go a lot of ways. Here's my reading...

THE RULES ABOUT BABIES (and some of their possible effects/reasons).

Parental leave exile (Eloise) is similar to taboo/violation exile (Charles) and wheel-turning exile (Ben)—the power of the Island will prevent you from returning. Of course, we've seen that there are exceptions to this, perhaps explicit in the Rules, perhaps loopholes to be exploited. Ben returns to the Island as part of a proxy re-creation (Ajira 316) of a previous snowglobe incursion (Oceanic 815), and Charles returns when the Island is Protector-less.

The child of an exile is welcome on the Island, just not the parent.

I believe that this Rule, this contract, has been in effect for centuries, since before Claudia's arrival.

On one hand, it's a pretty effective way to limit the exposure to the outside world of the Island's existence, its gifts, and its gift-giving. Those who become Others and enjoy the benefits of a simple life on a tropical island would have to think hard about giving it up for any reason. It's also a built-in population control measure, somewhat harsh, but not a bad notion given that we're talking about an Island in its own pocket dimension.

On the other hand, once people are capable of leaving the Island, this policy can create emissaries, or witnesses, who can testify to its wonders should they choose to. Of course, the question is, who would believe them, and how would they ever find the Island again as exiles?

Another effect of these exiles on the outside world would be to seed the general human population with potential for Island-gifted individuals over generations. In a big picture way, perhaps this would serve as an engine for the latest chapter in evolution.


I'd say that the DI must have observed that the Hostiles' population suffered from this pregnancy phenomenon, but never received details about the Rules and Otherness from the mouth of a Hostile. So, erring on the side of baby- and mother-saving, they instituted their policy of subbing pregnant women off-Island before they go into labor, to safely deliver their children. However, we see that Amy delivers Ethan in 1977, so they may never have needed to set up that protocol.


Claudia's not an Other when she delivers Jacob and Esau.

Amy is not an Other when she delivers Ethan.

Eloise is likely off-Island when she delivers Daniel, and stays off-Island to raise Daniel on her own, realizing that Charles has got an outsider on the side ("Love can be complicated," remember?).

Danielle is not an Other when she delivers Alex.

Claire is not an Other when she delivers Aaron.

Am I missing any Island babies?

Keep on keepin on~

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