Of Bunnies and Bens
Sometimes my head just aches when I, pardon me, go down the rabbit hole with Lost. I mean, how does the plot intertwine so well with, and among other things, literary allusions? After The Age of Innocence I delved straight into John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. My main goal was to identify the quote Ben uses without refreshing myself on the scene. Mission accomplished. Oh yeah, it was a pretty fantastic read too. I can’t tell you when I feel in love with Benjamin Linus but I know it was probably not this season of Lost. Nowadays it is hard to not be in love with him in any scene (and how did I originally cope without him until he appears in Season 2, Episode 14?); regardless, the scene in which he quotes the novel is definitely a standout scene from the third season. It is so deliciously amazing.
But the parallels! Rabbits, for one. It is no coincidence Ben is carrying the bunny with him (across rough terrain no less). One, he is proving a point. Two, Ben loves bunnies. Just look at Young Ben. And it is headache-inducing just to think about the significance of the White Rabbit/Alice in Wonderland to the Lostverse. Rabbits are a big part of Of Mice and Men. In fact, it may be one of the most mentioned words in the entire text. The quote Ben gives? Not surprising. “A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. I tell ya…I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.” This IS Ben. Just look at Young Ben, so lonely in Dharmaville, with his pet rabbit as his only friend. What happens? He goes nuts and defects to The Others. What happens…he literally gets sick with a tumor. It isn’t really surprising that Ben chose to commit that part of the book to memory.
My thoughts as the scene progresses: I feel like the ability to utter that line is the only takeaway Sawyer has from the book. It sounds similar to these tidbits my parents come up with out of context. (My dad loves to quote this one line from Julius Caesar: “I come to bury Cæsar, not to praise him” but that must be some holdover from high school). Also blocked the part about puppies being killed. ‘Tis true, but Ben probably wouldn’t like that. But what does he care? For all the talk of rabbits, none were harmed during the creation of this American classic.
Ben’s pause says to me: “Sigh, of course you would mention the number one book I identify with in life by making a stupid joke out of it.” The fact that Ben has been carrying that bunny just makes me happy. Ah, your typical Ben-gets-beat-up moment. I am never amused at this. Then…Alcatraz! Was J.J. somehow plugging a show that wasn’t going to premiere until 2012!? I love how Ben says “We’re a lot better.” So modest. Clearly this was his brainchild. And the icing on the cake: Ben breaks out his Of Mice and Men quote. And I can’t tell if he expected Sawyer to know it or was ready to pounce on him with a comeback. I want to say the latter but Ben gets so pissed off when Sawyer doesn’t know what he is talking about…loses his calculating cool a bit. But then it is off to being a BAMF again.