Sad Lonely Guys (Natural Loners)

LORELAI: Lee Harvey Oswald.
LUKE: John Muir.
LORELAI: The Unabomber.
LUKE: Henry David Thoreau.

Lorelai and Luke disagree about the romantic ideal of the male loner, with Lorelai seeing them as sad, lonely misanthropes, and Luke as mystical hermits of the wilderness. Luke sees himself as the latter, while Lorelai is worried he could be the former.

Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963) was an American ex-Marine and Marxist defector to the Soviet Union, described as quiet and withdrawn. According to four federal investigations, he assassinated President John F. Kennedy in 1963; there is a strong public belief that he didn’t act alone. Oswald was murdered by nightclub owner Jack Ruby while he was being transferred from the city gaol to the county gaol, and never stood trial or gave testimony.

John Muir (1838-1914) [pictured] was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States. His essays and books about nature have inspired millions, and his activism helped preserve Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and other wilderness areas. He co-founded The Sierra Club, a prominent conservation organisation, and he has many things named in his honour, including the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada, and the John Muir Way in Scotland. He is known as “Father of the National Parks”, and has been described as a patron saint of the environmental movement. As a young man, Muir spent many years hiking alone in the wilderness, but in middle age he married and had children, although still needing to spend time in the wilderness to refresh his spirit.

Ted Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, and previously discussed.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was an American author, poet, naturalist, and philosopher whose writings are early examples of environmentalism, and who advocated hiking, canoeing, and the preservation of wilderness (although when he actually went deep into the wilds, he came back with a new appreciation for civilisation). Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, or, Life in the Woods, which describes living a simple life in natural surrounds. It is based on a period of over two years that Thoreau spent living in a wooden cabin near Walden Pond among woods near Concord, Massachusetts. The book is both a memoir, and a spiritual quest to discover a better way to live. It tells of how Thoreau managed to enjoy his solitude in the woods, but also the companions that he met, and the friends who came to visit him, and how he enjoyed that too.

That Luke selects Muir and Thoreau as his models of loners, one who married and had a family, and the other who enjoyed friendship and companionship, suggests that he does not wish to be completely alone or isolated in life.

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