Rafts in Lost

Throughout the first season of Lost, Michael tries to build a raft to get everyone off the island. Despite rafts being used to travel, the raft in Lost symbolizes no escape. Michael spent much of his time with a few others building the raft. When it was nearing completion, it was set on fire by his son, Walt, because he didn’t want to leave the island. This is just the first of many times that the raft has impeded the survivors from leaving the island.

Michael built another raft with more help from the survivors and seemed to make great progress on it. While they were going on time to leave safely, Michael drinks poisoned water and becomes very sick. Kate and Sun had tried to poison Sun’s husband, Jin, to make sure he couldn’t leave on the raft, and so Kate could have a spot on the raft. However, while Kate was about to be given Sawyer’s spot on the raft, it is revealed that Kate is a fugitive and was the one to poison Jin, meaning she was not allowed to get on the raft to escape.

Michael then left on the raft with Sawyer, Jin, and his son Walt in order to escape the island. Michael and the others were having a hard time trying to navigate the water, but they followed the coordinates given to them, thinking it would lead them out of the current. During that night, they saw a ship in the distance and thought they would be safe. It got dangerously close to leaving, but they called it back with a signal flare. When the people on the boat came to the raft, it turned out that they were The Others, inhabitants of the island who meant to take Walt and kill the rest of the survivors. They blew up the raft and took Walt, then left the rest of the people on the raft to die in the water.

The other three survivors all ended up back on the island eventually, being found by another group of survivors. When their former group saw that the raft survivors returned, they knew that leaving the island would not be as easy as taking a raft out to the ocean. These occasions all symbolized that the raft meant there was no escape from the island.