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In the climax of Cast Away, Chuck (Tom Hanks) writes a note on the Fedex box which states that this package has saved his life. How exactly did that package save his life?

If I am correct, he never opens that package during the course of the film. Does it mean that he wants to deliver that package, which gives him a reason to live? Or have I missed something?

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    What you all said is very correct.But I have my opinion that the symbol on the package is the model for the sail that he prepared from the plastic section(sheet) that reaches the shore .As the symbol has wings encircled with water ,he may think that it helps him fly against the tide. And we can see him drawing the symbol
    – user5359
    Jul 7, 2013 at 12:46

3 Answers 3

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You pretty much answered your own question.

The package that Tom Hanks' character held onto throughout his ordeal was the one thing keeping him going. His determination to see the package delivered gave him a purpose in life and, even though it seems trivial in nature, sometimes even the smallest goals can give people in trouble the strength to carry on and survive their predicaments.

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    Yup. The biggest obsticle in survival is beating depression and hopelessness
    – DForck42
    Jun 30, 2012 at 21:17
  • "Whatever it takes"
    – Tom
    Jul 7, 2013 at 22:13
  • Really amazing movie! :') Jul 8, 2013 at 6:47
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    I like the parody of the end scene when the lady opens it and it contains an inflatable raft and a gps tracking device.
    – user7829
    Apr 25, 2014 at 9:22
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Well Chuck Nolan wanted to see his wife back too, I think it is what made him the most wanting to fight and get back "home". The package for me bore wings, that was probably symbolizing how he could fly back. I think he talks about launching his raft into the air. Plus he could be wanting to bring back any other package and cling to life, why specifically the one with wings ? well because of wings

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The villain in Cast Away is nature.

Delivering the package is a motivation to get off the island. He thinks if I get off this island, I will provide this to its rightful owner to symbolize his gratitude for living and loyal to his job. FedEx should have paid him 5 million because he returned it. By the way, 5 million was the perceived net worth of Chuck Nolan, the real castaway. Moreover, the fiancee had little to do with his motivation. He secretly did not like her after discovering that she buried "him" without a body.

Cast Away's climax builds when he leaves the island and is floating in the sea. The actual climax is when he loses Wilson (floating away), lying there thinking that he lost his best friend and will die (all hope lost). After the wave that seems to mark his end, we are taken off the intense climax by relief of the grandeur boat that saves his life. The resolution is the action of delivering the package. Is the aftermath of everything put in order, at least in Tom's mind.

The end is the classic Ernest Hemingway's the 'crossroad' less traveled. Since the main character has experienced such a usual life experience, the audience should expect he takes the less traveled road, no longer afraid of uncertainty and loneliness. Cast Away is a significant movie, from the toothache to the coconut, the SOS signals, to the wild waves.

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    Everything apart from "Delivering the package is a motivation to get off the island. He thinks if I get off this island, I will provide this to its rightful owner to symbolize his gratitude for living and loyal to his job" seems to be tangential analysis that's not actually relevant to the question.
    – F1Krazy
    Feb 7 at 19:44
  • I can say the same about your comment.
    – 007
    Feb 9 at 22:40

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