Human Nature in the Lost TV Show: Are Humans Inherently Good or Evil

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Throughout humanity, the nature of humankind has been questioned by philosophers, leading them to conclude whether humans are inherently good or evil. Thomas Hobbes, a British philosopher that lived in the 1600s, believes that humans are born selfish and greedy, which leads to violence and wars. However, Jean Jacques Rousseau, a Genevan philosopher born in the 1700s, concludes that humans instinctively aim for peace and harmony. Throughout the TV show Lost, the major characters Kate Austen, Jack Shephard, and Hugo 'Hurley' Reyes support Rousseau's perspective of human nature more strongly than Hobbes'.

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Kate Austen, one of the main characters, shows her selfless nature through her sincere actions and concerns. Following the plane crash in episode one, Kate aids Jack in stitching his cut despite her scared and disturbed condition. Additionally, she follows Jack during their search for the transceiver in the life-threatening conditions caused by the position of the plane. In order to obtain a better signal, she risks her safety and travels deep within the monstrous jungle to communicate with rescuers and save the stranded. Her selfless actions show that by risking her own life for the safety of others, she ensures the security and freedom of the survivors. Kate makes small but meaningful actions that show her willingness to put others’ needs before herself, moreover Jack, as a doctor, tries his best to assist others before himself.

The main protagonist of Lost, Jack Shepard, displays his peacemaking and good-natured qualities through his perpetuate help and leadership. As a doctor, it is his responsibility to treat the ill and wounded. Immediately after he regains consciousness, he assists everyone in finding shelter from the active airplane engine. He helps Claire Littleton and operates CPR on Rose Nadler. He especially demonstrates his selfless nature when he risks his life to untangle Charlie Pace’s foot instead of fleeing. Furthermore, he resolves the fight between Sayid Jarrah and Sawyer Ford, which shows his peaceful personality. While going through harsh conditions, Jack remains calm and shows selfless and peacemaking qualities of a civil human and/or doctor; however, Hurley demonstrates his good nature through small charitable actions.

Hugo “Hurley” Reyes shows his selfless and peaceful nature by radiating peace and harmony among the anxious survivors. Near the beginning, Hurley helps a pregnant woman named Clairee to get to safety from the falling airplane wing, despite the danger it poses to him, and provides her with fruits because of her condition that he could consume himself. Additionally, as Jack is treating the poor passenger with the shrapnel implanted in his stomach, Hurley tries his best to help him despite his fear of blood, which shows he considers the needs of others by putting them before his own comfort. His small but purposeful actions show that he is neither greedy nor selfish.

In conclusion, Kate Auston, Hurley Reyes, and Jack Shephard display features of good-natured, peaceful, and harmonic human beings through their actions, beliefs, and qualities in the TV show Lost, in which Rousseau’s theories are strongly supported by the main characters.  

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