LOST Theories - DarkUFO

KATE: A Character Analysis by la

Kate Austen is a perplexing character. At times she seems to be a tough, tomboy-like girl. At others, she seems totally indecisive. I've seen some comments on this site that have stated that LOST has ruined her character - even some comments arguing that she should die! I used to think her character had been ruined by the love triangle as well, but now I'm beginning to think differently.

Let's go through Kate's life and do an analysis.

First, Kate is a confident and impulsive young girl who tries to steal from a general store. She gets caught and told not to be bad. This is the daring, tomboy Kate from the pre-Wayne days.

When her mother marries Wayne, however, Kate is either physically or sexually abused by her stepfather (some sort of abuse is implied) leading her to lose her sense of trust. Her sense of trust in those she loves is further damaged by what she perceives as her mother's betrayal. Her tomboyish, impulsive, rebellious nature leads her to kill Wayne, but she no longer feels safe. The only one she can trust is herself.

Kate runs and occasionally appears to settle down. She works on a farm here, works with Cassidy there... even gets married. It isn't that she is running away - she is running TOWARDS something, but she can't find it. She wants someone who she can trust. The airplane toy is so important to her because it reminds her of the one man she felt she could trust. She cannot even trust the man she marries completely, because she is afraid of what will happen if he finds out she is a fugitive. Kate learns that the only person that she can trust is HERSELF. She is thus both strong and weak - strong in that she has learned to fend for herself, but weak in that she is truly lost and afraid and alone.

Flight 815 crashes. Now Kate is on the island. She mends Jack and finds someone who is not afraid - a doctor who, despite his own history of betrayals (his wife left him), is not afraid. He is not afraid of the monster on the island. He is not afraid of what will happen to them. He is a leader. She immediately attaches to Jack, seeing him as a trustworthy person and as a protector.

At the same time, she meets Sawyer, whose advances she spurns because she does not trust him. It is only after Sawyer slowly shows he is loyal to her and will protect her (and others) with his life that she sees past the untrustworthy conman to the trustworthy, tortured James Ford. She thus bounces back and forth between Jack and Sawyer - each time leaving one either because of a temporary loss of trust in that person or out of some fear that she is not safe with this person - a fear that makes her again take her life into her own hands. She sees her own mentality mirrored in Sawyer when he leaves to go with Locke. She asks why he is leaving (essentially running away in her eyes) and he says he is "Sruvivin'." That describes what Kate has been doing all along.

In the Oceanic 6 days Kate matures from the lonely young girl looking for a protector to the person who actually has to do the protecting - she has to take care of Aaron. When Jack proves to be unreliable and leaves her, she loses her trust in Jack and refuses to talk to him. When she loses Aaron in the supermarket, however, she loses her trust in herself. Her love for Aaron makes her return to the island to find Claire, who is perhaps one of the few friends on the island who she has ever been able to trust completely. Only Claire can take care of Aaron.

Jack is a man of science - Locke is a man of faith. Kate is a woman of neither. She has difficulty putting faith or trust in anything now. She is wandering, LOST - the infamous "love triangle" is merely a symptom of her confusion and - if I may put it this way - mild paranoia.

That's how I see Kate's arc up until now. How will all of this be resolved in Season 6? We'll find out soon.

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