Essay on An Analysis of Hilton's Lost Horizon

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An Analysis of Hilton's Lost Horizon

"...the horizon lifted like a curtain; time expanded and space contracted" In James Hilton's Lost Horizon, the reader is promptly enticed to trek along with Hugh Conway and the three other kidnapped passengers, Charles Mallinson, Miss Brinklow, and Henry Barnard. Hilton commences his novel by utilizing the literary technique of a frame. At a dinner meeting, friends share their insights into life, and eventually, from a neurologist, and friend of Conway, evolves the story of Conway's exotic adventures.

Apparently, Conway and the other three characters were on a plane that was hijacked by a member of the mystic civilization of Shangri-La. After crashing in the midst of nowhere, Conway led
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Mallinson, still fuming with animosity towards the lamasery continues to make his plea to leave. Finally, he just leaves, but with him travels Conway, for he was fond of his friend, and his friend also took with him Lo-Tsen, the beauty he secretly loved.

Hilton's novel leaves the reader with an unsolved mystery since the mystical powers of the "slowing of the aging process" remained only within the grounds of the lamasery. Conway soon realizes this as Lo-Tsen ages instantaneously, and transforms into a woman "...most old of any one I have ever seen." From here he must navigate himself back to the safety of the placid lamasery, but does he make it?

At this Hilton returns to the frame, in which the neurologist friend of his is trying to trace Conway's path and find this sacred civilization. The tale was only revealed since he found Conway during his "escape" from the lamasery, and had him write the manuscript dictating his story.

Fictional characters fall loosely into two categories: types and individuals. A type character being one that is usually the embodiment of a single trait or an idea, whereas an individual character is a person in his own right. The more complex, developing and maturing qualities of an individual character as he evolves denotes the role of the Hilton's main character, Hugh Conway. Conway's facets develop amazingly throughout the story. This is do to standards of the fictional society he ventures into,
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