This is an evolving post of intriguing similarities between LOST and “S.” Perhaps one or more of these will spawn some clues. Spoiler alert – key parts of both stories are revealed below. Please feel free to add your own discoveries in the comments section – I may add them to the main article and will be happy to give you credit.
Water as a Key Symbol
LOST’s key symbol is Flight Oceanic 815. Jack decides to become a hero when he finds the first fresh water on the island (White Rabbit). Jacob and Jack each drink water in the ceremonies that makes them the island’s protector. Charlie’s character arc is “soaked” in the symbolism of water (his five greatest moments, for example). There are many more examples.
“S.” has What begins at the water shall end there, and what ends there shall once more begin. The book opens with S. soaking wet, though he doesn’t know why. Etc.
Cork as a Key Symbol
LOST: Jacob explains to Richard Alpert that the island is a cork that stops evil from escaping.
“S.”: Sobreiro is a key figure. Sobreiro means “cork tree.”
Trees are Symbols for Character Names
LOST: One of the main characters is Sayid Jarrah. The Jarrah tree is found primarily in Australia, and primarily in the Jarrah Forest. A key property of Jarrah is that it can regenerate even after apparent destruction – even by fire – because of its deep roots and underground growths.
“S.”: One of the main characters is Arquimedes de Sobreiro. The Sobreiro is a cork tree, where we get corks for wine and champagne bottles.
The Cabin with the Mysterious Guide
LOST: Jacob’s Cabin.
“S.”: The Lady’s cottage atop Obsidian Island (p284-292).
The Drive Shaft is a Mysterious Clue
LOST: Charlie Pace’s band is named Drive Shaft. Charlie’s middle name is Hieronymus. The inventor of the drive shaft is Hieronymus Cardanus.
“S”: Archimedes de Sobreiro references cork (sobreiro is the tree from which cork comes). A study of cork leads us right back to the drive shaft.
Ink on the Forehead in a Climactic Scene
In LOST, in the climactic 108th episode Lighthouse, when Jack first experiences enlightenment, Jacob points out to Hurley that he has ink on his forehead.
In the climax of “S.”, S. feels the drop of the blue-black substance/ink on his forehead and confirms it when he wipes some of it off and looks at it (p452)
A Location Holds a Key Clue
LOST: Hurley once said, Australia is the Key to the Whole Game (The Shape of Things to Come)
“S.”: Jen explains that It all goes back to Calais (p431)
Islands as an Axis Mundi
LOST: The island itself is an Axis Mundi – a sacred space.
“S.“: Eric’s pencilled marginalia refers to Obsidian Island as an Axis Mundi.
LOST: Coming to the island on the wrong vector can cause time warps. The Losties jump through time unexpectedly and randomly.
“S.”: Ship time and land time are decidedly different.
The Sky Turns Purple
LOST: During key events (the hatch explosion and time hops after “The Incident”), the sky turns purple.
“S.”: Just before the waterspouts destroy S.’s ship, “the sinking sun has gone wine purple, staining the whole western sky” (p62).
Numbers Have Secret Meanings
LOST: Need we say more than 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42?
“S.”: The number 19 is the key number of the entire book. S. is the 19th letter of the alphabet. Interesting things happen on page numbers that are divisible by 19.
Maps are Key Symbols
LOST: Maps are used repeatedly throughout the series to symbolize the cartography of the human soul. In Whatever the Case May Be, Sayid Jarrah studies Rousseau’s maps, which also contain the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. In Deux Ex Machina, Boone discovers maps in the Beechcraft. In Whatever the Case May Be, Kate’s toy airplane has the number 5025 on a wing. 5025 is the postal code for Flinder’s Park, Australia. This leads us to Matthew Flinders – the man who mapped and named Australia. There is a particularly important map over the shoulder of Benjamin Linus on his classroom wall. And there are many more examples.
“S.”: S. is obsessed with the chart room and tries several times to get a peak at the map that Maelstrom studies there. It continues to bleed red. The Lady on Obsidian Island confirms that the “map shows it.”
Caves Symbolize Creation
LOST: The cave that Jack discovers and the Losties live in for awhile contains the skeletons of a man and a woman. John Locke sees them and calls them “our very own Adam and Eve.” Later we discover that these two skeletons do indeed hearken back to the creation of the island story as we know it. We also find the coffin of Jack’s dead father, Christian. Christian’s body is not in the coffin, symbolizing his new creation in resurrection – the first of many to come.
“S.”: The cave of the K— contains magnificent cave drawings that, in one giant cavern, culminate in a creation myth.(p178).
Black Rock is a Key Symbol
LOST: The Black Rock is a ship, not terribly unlike S.‘s own ship.
“S.”: Obsidian Island and the obsidian pieces around the neck’s of S’s crew are black rocks.
San Sebastián as the Name for Important Locations
LOST: The main character Jack Shephard and his father work out of San Sebastian hospital.
“S.“: The hotel where Filomena Xaldera Caldera (FXC) was supposed to meet V.M. Straka for the first time was the San Sebastián Hotel in Havana, Cuba on June 5, 1946. In this hotel, the translator and author would meet face-to-face for the first time, and the final manuscript for Chapter 10 of Ship of Theseus would be completed and handed over for translation. Instead, just after midnight on June 6, FXC found VMS’s hotel room ransacked with evidence of a violent struggle. On the street three stories below, she noticed the police loading a body and driving away. FXC claims to have gathered up as much of Chapter 10 as she could. VMS was assumed dead and never heard from again.
(More on this)
Black Thread Stitched Through Human Skin
LOST: In Pilot, after Jack is done trying to rescue everyone else, he realizes that he has to rescue himself. He has a serious wound in his side that needs care. He finds a secluded place on the beach, takes off his shirt, and examines the wound. He realizes that he needs stitches. A woman approaches, clearly having her own internal crisis. It is then that Jack and Kate first meet. Jack asks Kate to stitch his wound. After protesting that she is too queasy, he convinces her. She holds up a sewing kit with multicolored spools of thread and asks his color preference. “Standard black,” he replies. Kate stitches Jack back together in a moving scene.
“S.”: Our favorite crew of sailors has their mouths stitched shut in an eerie part of “the tradition.” At one point, S. himself joins the tradition and learns to sew his mouth shut when necessary.
Wearing a Dead Man’s Boots
LOST: In the first episode, Pilot, Kate tells Jack that she wants to come with him to help find the cockpit of Oceanic 815. Jack, thinking of the long hike through the jungle, looks down at Kate’s feet and says, “Well, you’re going to need better shoes.” Kate then reluctantly removes the hiking boots from a dead body. As she does so, she sees John Locke watching her.
“S.“: On p112, S. is offered the boots of Zapadi, whom we know by implication was murdered by Vevoda. On p119, we read, “the five people hiding in this dusty house, drinking a dead man’s tea, one of them even wearing a dead man’s boots.” This phrase is footnoted, and FXC explains in Fn4 that the same thing happened in The Winged Shoes of Emydio Alves as Alves is “stripped of the titular shoes and put to work in the fields wearing ‘a dead man’s boots.'”
The Reluctant Assassin Changes His Ways
LOST: Sayid Jarrah, in his beautiful character arc, for a time becomes a reluctant assassin in his attempt to combat evil. After what appeared to be a physical death and full spiritual death by aligning with the man in black, he experiences internal transformation and chooses to give his life rather than take others.
“S.“: S. becomes a reluctant assassin, often complaining that he never had the choice but to do things he has chosen to do. After he kills Pfeifer, the culmination of his assassinations, a magpie dies and his ship is destroyed – symbolizing his own spiritual death. After a purgatorial sojourn in The Winter City and counsel by Sola, S.’s final choice to assassinate climaxes in his choice to give up his murderous ways.
Baseball as a Key Symbol (baseballs have 108 stitches)
LOST: Dogen keeps a baseball in the temple with him. It serves as a reminder of the day Dogen had too much to drink, picked his son up from baseball practice, and crashed – losing his son’s life. Later, as Sayid drowns Dogen in the temple fountain, the baseball comes lose from his grip, and it floats to the top of the water – symbolizing Dogen’s future resurrection.
“S.”: On p.195, Eric tells the story of how he and his college roommate Griff blew off studies and drove for hours to make a San Francisco baseball game. They drove back just in time to make Monday morning exams. It was a great memory for Eric, but upon hearing the story, Eric’s father reprimanded him and reminded him of his role in the death of his Uncle Zeke. His roommate Griff would later commit suicide.
The Orlop Deck is a Key Symbol
LOST: The orlop deck is the location of key events. In the orlop, Richard Alpert is imprisoned and almost murdered. He meets the smoke monster. He meets the man in black. The dynamite is stored there. Sawyer meets and murders his lifelong nemesis there. Jack demonstrates his first act of real faith there by lighting a stick of dynamite and placing it between himself and the newly faithless Richard Alpert.
“S.”: The orlop is where the workin’s take place. It is where the crew takes turns writing and S., after many attempts to discover what happens in the orlop, eventually does the same. It is where S. has his vision of Vevoda’s Chateau and has Sola with him.