The Island

Plot

John and Winston share a prison cell on an unnamed Island. After another day of hard labor and having been forced to run while shackled and then beaten, they return to their cell. They tend each other's wounds, share memories of times at the beach and rehearse for the prisoner-performed concert which is imminent. They are going to perform a scene from an abridged version of Antigone by Sophocles. John will play Creon and Winston will play Antigone.

When he sees himself in his costume, Winston tries to pull out of playing a female role, fearing he will be humiliated. John is called to the governor's office. He returns with news that his appeal was successful and his ten-year sentence has been commuted to three years: he will be free in three months. Winston is happy for him. As they imagine what leaving prison and returning home will be like, Winston begins to unravel. He doubts why he ever made a stand against the regime, why he even exists. Having said it, he experiences a catharsis, and accepts that he must endure.

The final scene is their performance of Antigone. After John-as-Creon sentences Winston-as-Antigone to be walled up in a cave for having defied him and done her duty towards her dead brother, Winston pulls off Antigone's wig and yells "Gods of Our Fathers! My Land! My Home! Time waits no longer. I go now to my living death, because I honored those things to which honor belongs". The final image is of John and Winston, chained together once more, running hard as the siren wails.


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