Lost and secrets

So I’ve been watching the TV series Lost. And it really bugs me the way everybody just about instinctually keeps secrets from everybody else. All the way from the first or second episode, where a small group decided not to tell the rest about the dragon, and on about how they decided to keep secret about the French chick, and Locke not telling about the airplane and the thing they found in the woods, not telling about the computer, etc… Supposedly because they deem the rest of the survivors can’t handle the truth or something. It just strikes me as unnatural and unrealistic. Those are adults, there’s only one child on the island. What’s this obsession with taking on responsibility for all the rest and treat them like children?

Open spoilers for anything that’s aired up till today. Nothing big, though.

IMHO, it started as necessity on the writers’ part, and then sort of became a in-joke on the show.

If you think about it, it would be really boring to sit there and watch Sawyer tell Hurley (or whatever) about the polar bear attack that we JUST SAW. We, the audience, know that there’s a polar bear. As soon as the show starts taking up time rehashing what just happened, a bunch of us yawn and change the channel.

So… they can’t show it, but of course that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen “off screen.” But, I think the writers chose to be tongue-in-cheek about it. Since there’s no time to show Sawyer telling Hurley about the polar bear attack, now when it comes up in his presence, he can say “Dude, there’s a polar bear?” It happens again and again… “There’s a hatch? There’s food in the hatch? Was that guy’s name Scott, or Steve? Where’d Arzt go?” And it becomes an in-joke. They’re poking fun at the opposite convention-- normally in TV and movies, everyone knows what they’re supposed to know, even though in many cases we didn’t see how they found out.

It seems like it actually has the potential of becoming a plot too. Charlie has already complained about being left at the “kiddie’s table.” There is, again IMHO, some possibility for unrest brewing in the nameless survivors against the “elite” that we watch every week.

I think that everyone on the island can “feel” that there are supernatural things going on, so they are being very careful about who they choose to tell things. This is no normal plane crash or island(if there is such a thing). It’s clear that the island contains secrets and that the people who crashed have secrets in their personal lives they want kept.

Having said that, not all of them are secret keepers. When Charlie told Locke he wants to know what is going on, Locke told him everything. It seems like they aren’t going out of their way to worry people, but will tell if pressed.

I can see keeping secrets on the island. I know I would. There is the chance that everybody will think you are crazy, for one. You don’t show a weakness in a survival situation. Knowledge is power. Plus too much knowledge can freak people out. If Shannon knew about everything from the get-go, she would be a screaming wreck. :smiley:

Also with some info, such as the hatch food, it was a good idea to keep it quiet to avoid a stampede or panic. Why scare people by telling them about mysterious monsters if there’s nothing you can do to protect them?

…This is not a problem found only on “Lost”… EVERY SHOW does this. Characters keep secrets for no apparent reason because it adds to the drama. It’s not even unique to television or movies… This is a tenet of story telling from the days of Greek tragedies and probably before.

I don’t think Locke mentioned that he was wheelchair-bound until he arrived on the island. Kate never explained why she was a fugitive. And as mentioned, the polar bear was not mentioned to the majority of the castaways. In some ways the characters act like high school students in cliques. Charlie was right to complain, although he’s in the inner circle compared to some of the more anonymous characters.

Even the characters know their show was inspired by Survivor, and the first rule of Survivor is to keep information to yourself.

Lots of reasons. More brains to solve the problems. All the hassle and trouble with keeping secrets from others. Who to tell and who not to. etc. But foremost because they have a right to know. They’re adults, not children. Jack and Kate and Locke etc. have no rights to mother everybody else like they’re children.

Also if I once learned that someone in such a situation had kept something this big from me, I’d be fairly pissed and never again trust that person. This distrust is more dangerous than just telling the truth.

Yes. But it’s not secrets like those of an unfaithful wife or a thief or someone who has a direct personal interest in seeing it kept secret. I can see Sawyer keeping secret his stash, or Kate and Locke lying about their past. But not telling everybody there are big scary animals on the island or another person has been trapped on the same island for 16 years?! And these secrets just coming to them without much discussion like it was the most natural thing?