[The Iliad] is remarkable for the way that its preoccupation with mortality and the human conditions extends even to the enemy. The killing of Hektor by the central figure of the Iliad, Achilles, is a great victory for the Greeks, and yet the camera immediately shifts, as we witness the gut-wrenching reactions of Hektor’s mother, father, and wife to his death. Similarly, the Iliad ends not with the funeral of Achilles, who is doomed to die very soon, but instead with the funeral of Hektor. Achilles’ own short life and imminent death resonate throughout the laments that are sung for his deadliest enemy. In the words of Simone Weil, who was struck by the equity of compassion with which the suffering of the Greeks and Trojans is narrated: “The whole of the Iliad lies under the shadow of the greatest calamity the human race can experience - the destruction of the city. This calamity could not tear more at the heart had the poet been born in Troy. But the tone is not different when the Achaeans are dying, far from home.”
from The Captive Woman’s Lament in Greek Tragedy, by Casey Dué
People tend to talk about Oliver’s PTSD as if the trauma in question is entirely contained within the five years of flashback. He went through it, it’s over, and now he’s beginning to heal.
But Oliver’s trauma didn’t END when he got off the Island in the pilot. He still lives with almost constant violence and danger. He still loses people fairly regularly. He still suffers injuries and manipulation and betrayal and torture and even brainwashing. Since he got back from the island, he’s lost five close friends/family members, and come very close to losing several more. He’s had two former friends take out full on vendettas against him. He’s been lied to by people he trusted and its nearly cost him dearly. He’s witnessed horrible destruction to his city that he tried to prevent and failed. He’s been stabbed, shot, poisoned, electrocuted, beaten, burned, pushed off a cliff. He’s had friendships destroyed. He’s had his closest friends and confidants say horrible things to him- calling him a murderer, irresponsible, unfeeling, incapable of love and trust, undeserving of trust etc.- some deserved some not. He’s been personally targeted, stalked, hunted, persecuted by various people and organizations. All the while going out every night and fighting. All the while sorting the different facets of himself into two distinct personas. All the while having to lie to the majority of the people he encounters. His trauma never ended. And all those behaviors he learned during his time away- kill or be killed, torture is sometimes necessary, trust no one, lies protect you etc. - aren’t going away as fast as some people would like because the life he leads is still reinforcing those mindsets for Oliver. Paranoia, deception and violence are the things that keep Oliver and his loved ones alive. There are very good reasons why Oliver isn’t moving past who he became on the island very quickly, and why he regresses at times.
But in spite of all this, in spite of everything he has gone through, and continues to go through, Oliver IS healing. He IS growing. Which is an astounding testament to his strength of mind and strength of character. And it paints are remarkable picture of hope. Oliver is a hero born from darkness and continually rising above it
A man dressed as Abraham Lincoln stands with protesters at the Women’s
March on Washington D.C. during the first full day of Donald Trump’s
presidency in Washington; Iranian firefighters remove the debris of the
Plasco building which was engulfed by a fire and collapsed in central
Tehran, Iran; and Syrians walk through the destruction in the old city
of Aleppo, Syria are some of the photos of the day.
Photo credits: John Minchillo/AP, Ebrahim Noroozi/AP, Hassan Ammar/AP, David Ramos/Getty Images, Lanfranco Fossa/AP, Luis Hidalgo/AP, Ian Langsdon/EPA