The choices that individuals make in moments of crisis can transform them. By focusing on fictional characters trapped on fictional islands, the book examines how individuals react when forced to make hard choices within the liminal space of a “prison” island. At stake is the perception of choice: do characters believe that they have the power to choose, or do they think that they are at the mercy of fate? The results reveal certain patterns—psychological, historical, social, and political—that exist across a variety of popular/public cultures and time periods.
This book focuses on how the interplay between liminality and the Locus of Control theory creates dynamic sites of negotiated meaning. This psychological concept has never before been used for literary analysis. Offered here as an alternative to the defects of Freudian psychology, the Locus of Control theory has been proven reliable in thousands of studies, and the results have been found, with few exceptions, to be consistent in both women and men. That consistency is explored through close readings of islands found in popular culture books, films, and television shows, with suggestions for future research.