Desmond Hume, the mysterious and passionate former soldier introduced in Season 2 of ABC’s hit TV series Lost, is a man driven by three main emotions: fear, pride, and love. These three motivators, plus his unusual relationship with the nature of time, make him one of many fascinating reasons to watch Lost. This article is a character analysis of Desmond Hume of the TV series Lost.
Despite his confidence and strong appearance, Desmond Hume’s early life was marked by fear and failure, particularly with his two main romantic relationships. His first love, Ruth was a woman that he planned to marry. One week before the wedding, the fears he had been suppressing for months finally came to the surface during an all-night drinking binge. Desmond entered a monastery upon receiving an offer of help from Brother Campbell. Desmond quickly became a novice monk, began the lifestyle, and started a vow of silence. Although he believed that he had been given a sign to start a religious life, it was a convenient excuse to keep from facing his fears of marriage.
Desmond met the true love of his life after making the decision to leave the religious life. Luck allowed him to meet Penelope (Penny) Widmore as he was leaving the monastery. They feel deeply in love over time and they planned to marry. However, Desmond chose to end this relationship and join the military. Was it fear of commitment that drove him away? Perhaps, in some small part, Desmond was still afraid of commitment. However, the major emotion that drove him away from Penny was…
Desmond Hume came from humble means and, at one time, was forced to work to support his three brothers after something happened to their father. By chance he met Penelope, the daughter of the wealthy businessman Charles Widmore. Desmond’s first meeting with his future father in law did not go well: Widmore basically told Desmond that Penny was out of his league. His relationship with Penny continued but, finally, when Penny and Desmond got their photo taken together, Desmond realized that he couldn’t continue his relationship with her because he couldn’t take care of her financially. And so he left her to join the military.
After being dishonorably discharged from the Scottish army, Desmond meets Widmore again, who tries to pay off Desmond so that he will never contact Penny again. The encounter infuriates Desmond and his pride leads him to compete in Widmore’s own sailing race so that he can regain his honor and try to win Penny back again. For, after all, the third emotion that drives Desmond Hume is…
Penny Widmore is Desmond’s constant (to borrow a phrase from Daniel Faraday). She is the love of his life and his will to survive and conquer comes from that love. His love for her allowed him to overcome the effects of time displacement on his mind and helped him to eventually escape from the Island.
These three emotions have had a powerful effect on the character of Desmond Hume.