LOST can be seen as a microcosm of the world; very different people from all walks of life seeking to recreate a miniature “society”. I think the writers are making a statement about what human priorities are, in how the story unfolds. This is especially true now that it seems more and more likely they will be digging in for the long haul, since the raft failed and the S.O.S. was scrapped. The following are in the order they appear on the show:
1) Life & Death Safety / Shelter
“Pilot” S1E1&2: Jack and others scramble to people after the crash. They start building shelters out of the tarps. Fear over the monster paralyzes them all the first night. They stay close to one another for comfort.
2) Division of Labor
“Tabula Rasa” S1E3: Sayid: “If it rains, we should set up tarps to collect water. I need to organize 3 separate groups. Each group should have a leader. One group for water – I’ll organize that. Who’s going to organize electronics? You? Rationing food? Okay. And I believe a third group should concern themselves with the construction of…”
3) Leadership and a Sustainable Source of Fresh Water and Food
“Walkabout” S1E4: Locke decides to go boar hunting, so they have meat when the trays from the leftover plane food runs out.
“White Rabbit” S1E5: There is great concern that people have just been taking what they want, and panic ensues as people realize they are running out of fresh water (and Sawyer is suspected of hoarding). Jack emerges as the clear choice for leader in the beginning, though he is initially reluctant. He finds the caves and a source of freshwater there, after being led by an image of his father. People are relieved to see him return, and he makes his famous “Live together, die alone” speech to rally the troops.
4) Medical Care
“House of the Rising Sun” S1E6: Jack starts to collect medications from the wreckage, which he will later build a medical tent for. Sun will later add to his facilities, since she is secretly planting a garden full of medicinal herbs.
“Solitary” S1E9: Hurley builds a golf course to relieve some of the stress they are all feeling.
6) Fair Distribution of Limited Resources
“Everybody Hates Hugo” S2E4: Hurley is reluctantly given the task of distributing the newly found DHARMA food. He hates the job because he notices that individual greed and human gluttony are making people want what they don’t need, and he is the target of this, as the one who makes the decisions. In the end, Jack agrees to let off the pressure, and allows Hurley to distribute things to people to divvy up and ration themselves, though he and Rose still take care of inventory.
7) Law & Order; Meting Out Justice to Those Who Break The Rules
Has been an issue since early on, with many fights breaking out due to misunderstandings and false accusations (such as when Sawyer was accused of stealing medication and was tortured, Jin was accused of setting the raft on fire and handcuffed, and when the raft group was imprisoned in the pit by the tail section group). In “One of Them” (S2E14), this issue is tackled head-on with Fake “Henry”, an outsider they feel is a clear potential danger. They decide to imprison him in the armory, where there is the security of a combination lock.
8) Religious & Spiritual Needs
“S.O.S.” S2E19: It becomes apparent that what Mr. Eko and Charlie have been building is a church.
An interesting mirror of society. What other needs do you think human beings have? What do you think they will tackle next? What would you build if you were on the island?