Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ben's Motivation

Do you think Ben is motivated more by the Island and it's long-term goals or his own?

At the end of Season 3 Ben insists to Alex that he can't let anyone leave the Island. I guess in large part this is so no one will tell the rest of the world about the Island. By the end of Season 4 he seems completely fine with letting Kate and Sayid leave given their role in freeing him from Keamy and the rest of the Freighter Merc Crew. What's changed? Once he realizes he has to leave is he not concerned with who else leaves? Is he confident that no one on the Freighter will survive? His "So?," one of the most chilling lines of the entire series, brings his entire no one leaves plan to fruition. Another case of the Island taking care of its own.

As we enter Season 5 and the quest for the return to the Island, I still wonder what motivates Ben. Revenge? Power? Mere self-preservation?  Or is it whatever is motivating The Island?

And what the heck does The Island want?


Lost 2010 said...

I think Ben's allegiance to the island was sorely tried when the island let his daughter die. Alex seemed to be the one person in the world that Ben truly cared about. Even his devotion to Juliet was self-serving, but he seemed to truly love Alex.

I'd have a hard time staying loyal to an island that protected Micheal but not my little girl - wouldn't you?

Capcom said...

Well, Ben always says, "Sure you can go,"....not. He explained why/how he does it last season to Locke. Mostly when the illusion of "keeping a promise" is important to his rep on the island. Not that there's much of that left at this point, but I don't see him changing his machiavellian M.O. overnight, expecially with Alex dead and revenge on his mind.

Maybe if the island is all that Ben knows, he wants his cushy Pottery Barn cottage life back, and he doesn't particularly care for joining the rat race back in The World, he might fight to get his place back on the island.

maven said...

Ben's motivations has been to protect the island while he felt he was the Chosen One. Maybe that motivation is changing as the island brings in special people like Locke, Walt and, possibly, Aaron. And the death of Alex shook Ben to his core. He couldn't believe the rules have been changed.

Ben nonchalantly said Kate and Sayid can leave the island because he knows that those on the freighter weren't going anywhere. He just says things that people want to hear...the master manipulator.

memphish said...

I wonder if Ben has ever truly been motivated by the Island. First he was drug there by his alky dad (hmm, kind of like Jack), so his first motivation was destroying his father. At some point he was motivated to save a baby from a crazy woman. I wonder if that was Island or Jacob or Ben driven. Odd for a boy who had no mother to take a baby from its mother.

By the time Mittelos recruited Juliet, Ben was clearly more motivated by himself than the Island. His actions vis a vis keeping Karl from Alex was more than likely a distraction from Island business. And he makes repeated efforts to undermine Locke once he arrived on Island.

I'm not sure Ben ever looked after the Island's best interest.