Fan commentary -
But back to Daddy-bashing, and to build upon what the producers said: When I consider the father themes of Lost, I find myself linking to Postmodern writer Donald Barthelme, whose ''flash fiction'' short stories ''The Balloon'' and ''The Game'' (about two guys trapped in a hatch) have some intriguing Lost resonances and whose essay ''Not-Knowing'' has a lot to say about Lost's aesthetic and worldview. But the book that has Lost written all over it is Barthelme's The Dead Father, a surreal novel about a group of people literally dragging the massive body of a monstrous and monolithic ''dead father'' across the country to its final resting place. The dead father in The Dead Father is symbolic of so many things that shape and form us — bad parents, corrupt institutions, f---ed up philosophies. I believe Lost shares those same thematic concerns. The show is an allegory about a new millennia yearning for a new hope but still haunted by the despair of the era past; about a culture burdened by the crushing weight of our dead fathers and forefathers. We want the clean slate of John Locke, but dammit if the awful chalk scribbles of our stupid teachers can't be erased. Lost, then, isn't about burying the past, but finding the grace to live with it.
Lest you think I'm just talking out of my butt again, there are others among us who agree with me. Or maybe they just like talking out of their butts, too. Take this theory from a reader who didn't sign his/her name:
''By interpreting Lost through its themes I think the inevitable path of the show becomes clear. In my opinion there are only two important themes: 1. Science vs. Religion (or Reason vs Faith); and 2. The Failure of the Father Figure. This second theme ties into the first. The micro-universe of The Island is a mirror for the conflicts of the larger world. All God's children are lost, doomed by their conflicts and their deadly technologies. At the heart of this conflict sits Jacob, the alleged leader of the Others. But rather than a spiritual Superman we find Jacob to be an old, flickering half-man, half-spirit, seemingly drained and in need of John Locke's help. Jacob can be understood on two levels: literally, he is the patriarch of the Others; and metaphorically he is the weakened, exploited Father of a corrupted society. His estranged partner is the Mother, Science, who is represented in the show by all the dying mothers on The Island. The only way to save them, to heal Jacob, and solve the Valenzetti Equation [aka ''The Numbers,'' a mathematical formula developed by The Hanso Foundation that predicts the end of the world] is to reconcile the two worldviews of science and religion.''