Land of the Lost Analysis and Interpretation

769 Words Apr 27th, 2013 4 Pages
Land of the lost

This paper is an analysis and interpretation of Stewart O’ Nan’s “Land of the Lost”. A woman’s almost obsessive investigation of a young woman’s death is the center of this short story, where Stewart O’ Nan’s portrayal of the main character makes her more fascinating to the reader than the missing girl.
The name of the main character is unknown to us, but despite the anonymity we are able to observe her feelings and behavior through a third person narrator. The point of view lies with her and that makes the narration personal and feels as if she told the story herself, but at the same time it gives the reader an opportunity to craft its own opinion about her.
The death of a child unknown to you wouldn’t normally
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She even admits: “(…) Was it? She could admit that at least part of the reason she was searching for a stranger’s daughter was that no one else needed her. Just Ollie”. A part of her knows that this whole obsession is extreme, but at the same time she can’t let go of it because it’s so important to her. It’s sad really and shows how empty some humans feel.
The title “Land of the lost” is a metaphor for the main character’s life. Both she and the missing girl are lost in a great wonderland. The woman doesn’t have anything to do and thus lost her life to this obsessive searching. The search for the girl represents the woman’s search for herself and how she is struggling with it. She is lost as well as the girl. Her life dramatically changed since her divorce and she is unable to move on and take a different path in life. The land of the lost represents the area we all end up in from time to time when we are changing or choosing a path in life. Some people like the main character spend more time in the land of the lost than others, and finding the lost girl is just as important as finding herself.
“As long as she’d waited for this moment, she didn’t want to see what was inside”. In the end she’d come so far. But as she stands here, she is afraid that the body she found might be a dud again. She is afraid to make a huge discovery in life because she failed the first time. All her hard work might as well leave her where she started and then she’s got