During his time on the island in Cast Away, Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) never opens up one last FedEx package, even though it could have made his escape or his survival easier. Why is this?

  • 1
    Some people are a stickler for integrity! Guess Tom Hank's character was one of those...
    – Sayan
    Jan 7 '14 at 5:31
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    Actually, he opens all the packages except one
    – Tom
    Jan 7 '14 at 12:52
  • 1
    Where did the ice skates come from? Or his "fishing net"? Or... Wilson!
    – his
    Jan 7 '14 at 19:50
  • in an earlier draft of the movie, he eventually does open the last package, and it contains something mostly useless (some salsa I think). As @SystemDown points out, leaving it unopened makes a much bigger point about his character.
    – KutuluMike
    Apr 24 '14 at 22:50
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    To restate what was already answered, but in different terms, it gave him something to hope for, a sense of urgency and a distraction. Protecting the package so that he may finally deliver it is a good way to stay sane. Apr 25 '14 at 14:42

Tom Hanks's character works for FedEx, and sees it as his job that the package reaches it's intended destination safe and sound, and most importantly unopened. While the package remains closed he still has a chance to deliver it. And delivering it means that he gets off the island.

It was a way of keeping himself sane and keep his hopes up.

  • 1
    Sane, in contrast to going nuts and talking with Wilson the face-ball
    – nilon
    May 22 '16 at 0:23
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    @nilon: I disagree. If he had not had Wilson, his social skills would've atrophied. He's better off talking to a ball than withdraw inside his own mind. This is very similar to why toddlers are incentivized to consider their stuffed animals as individuals; it lets them practice social skills with no real consequences for failing. Failing isn't the issue for Tom Hanks' character, but practicing (maintaining) social skills is relevant.
    – Flater
    Dec 5 '17 at 15:06
  • @Flater I don't disagree with your idea, nor from SystemDown. Sanity and craziness live together.
    – nilon
    Dec 5 '17 at 21:05
  • Matches up with the Super Bowl commercial, so it must be the right answer! "I swore that I would deliver it for you because I work for FedEx…By the way, what's in the package?" Dec 6 '17 at 3:11

Its quite simple, the package had a picture of wings which represented to him to stay alive. Getting off the island was a bonus, if not for the sail 4 years later he had no plans on leaving, it was pure luck he was found, the package was motivation so thats why he protected it and didn't open it, if he did meant he would likely kill himself or die in depression, get sick, etc.

  • 2
    Hi - welcome to Movies & TV. I am glad that you are getting into answering this question, but we generally prefer that people back up their answers/explain why their answers are correct. If you could elaborate on and explain your answer, that would be wonderful!
    – ghostdog
    Jul 31 '16 at 0:04

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