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Lost in Our Middle Hour

Lost in Our Middle Hour

Faith, Fate, and Redemption Post-9/11

(p.125) 8 Lost in Our Middle Hour
Time in Television Narrative
Sarah Himsel Burcon
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter analyzes Lost’s format and narrative content. It argues that both the narrative structure (flashbacks, flashforwards, and flashsideways) and the thematic content of Lost worked together to immerse viewers in the longstanding philosophical and theological debates surrounding free will/destiny and faith/reason. The chapter draws a parallel between Lost and Milton’s Paradise Lost to demonstrate that, after 9/11, Americans refocused on religious ideals given their shattered sense of freedom, righteousness, and sense of security. Ultimately, the program emphasized how Americans were in their “middle hour” of grief. That is, they wished to “do over” the past at the same time that they were living in an unstable present and looking to some “Other” to help them move into the future.

Keywords:   television programs, television series, narrative content, grief

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