Friday, December 14, 2007

Lost in The Waste Lands -- Final Thoughts

There are lots of other things in The Waste Lands that evoke LOST as well. I'll run some of them down for you in no particular order.

Eddie Dean, a character much like Charlie Pace thinks to himself, "Beating heroine was child's play compared to beating your childhood." What LOSTie couldn't say that as well? Later Roland tells Eddie, "What we don't need is a man who can't let go of the useless baggage of his memories." No wallowing in your flashbacks, please.

Literary references include Oz, Lord of the Flies, Catch-22, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Watership Down

The book explores the concept of ka-tets. Ka is a word that sort of means fate. But despite the existence of ka there is still free will. A ka-tet is "a group of people with the same interests and goals." It's also "the place where many lives are joined by fate." These characters, Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy form a ka-tet. "Each member of a ka-tet is like a piece in a puzzle. Taken by itself, each piece is a mystery, but when they are put together, they make a picture . . . or a part of a picture. It may take a great many ka-tets to finish one picture. You mustn't be surprised to discover your lives have been touching in ways you haven't seen until now." And in fact, Eddie and Jake discover they did "cross" back in the 70s.

There's a bear with a cave and a Tonka truck.

Time and distance are both messed up. According to Blaine, the temporal synapses are breaking down. Jake's watch measures odd times like "62 minutes past 40 on a Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday in both December and March." Roland claims that distance grows with each passing day so that what was 5 miles away is now farther away. What's more there's magnetism and other forces at work. "Physics in the nuthouse," one character remarks.

Roland makes a compass much like the one Sayid made in Season 1.

Parent issues and father issues in particular exist. Jake, like Jack, despite doing everything his father wants him to do still can't please him. Jake's own strengths and interests are of no interest to his father. What's more, when acting as a gunslinger each character must remember his father's face. This is true even if that literal father was a bad or even absent father. This memory of ancestory is what allows the gunslinger to focus and act with certainty and accuracy. Perhaps the LOSTies need to remember their fathers' faces.

Dreams are powerful and important in guiding the characters' paths.

There are portals between our world and Roland's and between Roland's and the path to the Tower. There are also crossovers between the worlds like music, literary references and even airplanes like a 1930s Nazi plane that appears outside Lud. There's speculation that the Bermuda Triangle might be such a portal that is more or less always open while other portals need keys to be opened such as the way Jake enters Mid-World in this story.

The Grays have an underground room with a watertight hatchway with a big valve wheel and an intercom inside and outside it.

Blaine gasses the remaining inhabitants of Lud like the Hostile's gassed the Dharma Initiative. Did Smokey come up with that idea? It helps my theory in the last post.

So there you have it. I'll keep reading the Dark Tower and post when I find something interesting. It may take me until 2010, but hey, it looks like we've got the time. Season 3 centric posts will be coming up next, well after one last Season 2 post.


memphish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paula Abdul Alhazred said...


I have an older post in my blog comparing all the similarities between LOST and THE DARK TOWER. After you've read all seven books, check it out. I'd love to hear your comments. I'm also excited to know what you'll think of the books as a whole. No series of novels has excited and frustrated me more. I remember that reading each book was a lot like sitting through each season of LOST.

Melissa_Lossa said...

memphish -

It'll all be worth it when you finish that last book. I'm dying to know what you think of the final moments of The Dark Tower!

Jay said...

I think the Waste Lands is probably the most underrated of all the DT books, simple because they're still bitter King took about seven years to publish the next one (I'm not bitter, but man that was along wait for such a terrific cliffhanger).

That being said, the parallels you bring between future Jack and Roland and the Monster and Blaine are good ones. The question about the Monster is most apt since we know it had a "catastrophic malfunction" but we don't know whether it's indigenous to the island and was co-opted by DHARMA or whether DHARMA simply created it to battle the natives.

As what applies to Jack might equally apply to Desmond. Imagine if Desmond had changed the future when he traveled back in time? Would he be suffering from a split personality as well?

Tell me when you finish the resolution to the cliffhanger in Wizard and Glass. I now have an idea as to how the show will ultimately end. :)

Jay said...

Oh and I just wanted to say that I thought Wizard and Glass was the best book of the series. It could really be a stand alone novel and a terrific one at that.

King is st his best when he's writing coming of age stories (try "The Body" - what "Stand By Me" is based on - or "Hearts In Atlantis") and this one is terrific. I nearly cried at the end of Roland's story.

Okay, I've said enough. I'm jealous you get to read it for the first time. :)

memphish said...

Thanks for all the comments Jay. I'll look forward to the Kelvin post.
The thing about Desmond and the time travel and the split is it does not seem to be infecting him the way it does Roland/Jake/maybe future Jack. Perhaps his possession of the failsafe key, at least at times in his life, preserves his sanity like Roland's possession of the key while he, Eddie and Susannah traveled.

Jay said...

Very true.

So here's a question - if the Losties were able to go back in time and change things, what event would they change? The Purge? The Crash? The Hatch Implosion? Jack's Phone Call?

It seems there are multiple bad events here that coudl potentially be thwarted. Then there are personal issues - seems every one of the Losties has something they regret, something they'd like to change. Would Hurley go back and prevent himself from getting onto that deck? Would Sawyer go back and stop his parents from being killed? Would Kate go back and prevent herself from blowing up her Dad?

Er, maybe you shouldn't answer that last one. :)

memphish said...

I think a key for the LOSTies though is to reach a point where they don't need to go back, but to move forward like Eddie and Susannah. They need to stop wallowing in things they can't change. Use their past productively. And deal with their future. If Jack had realized before he made the call that he can't go home again (a great book btw) then everything would be different. Then again why he thinks going back to the Island will fix things, I can't wait to find that out either.

Melissa_Lossa said...

I think that a lot of the Losties are similar to Susannah, in fighting with themselves internally. In Susannah, the fight is between Odetta and Detta for control - eventually, she melds into a combination of the two to become Susannah. A lot of the Losties are similar: Locke is both the weak, easily manipulated son and the brave hunter; Jack is both the strong leader and the unsure follower; Kate is both a hero and a murderer. Maybe they don't need to choose one or the other to survive. They just need to merge their "island selves" with their "pre-crash" selves.