Chuck Noland is a FedEx worker who is obsessed with his job, a workaholic. He is trapped in the captivating life of time, power, and structured planning. He is always working against the clock. His job has taken over his life. He is so deep into his personal career that he doesn't spend enough time with his fiance Kelly, his time is always put into working all day. Chuck also has a problem with socializing with his co workers. He treats his co workers in a more boss-to-employee relationship instead of a friend-to-friend relationship.
Chuck is involuntarily sent on a quest when his plane crashes into an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. During his quest, Noland has to realize that he needs to start spending his time wisely, like with Kelly, instead of spending it on business trips where he is away from Kelly and his personal life. It takes him four years to realize that life isn't all about work. When he realizes that life isn't all about work, he is able to return home.
While he was on the island, his knowledge of making every day necessities - like food and clothing - and use of technology makes a tribute to his transformation into becoming a man who isn't so obsessed with his job and time. Before Chuck's plane crashes on the island, he is shut out of the Dionysian world - A more unorganized way of life, breaks down a man's individual character. Dionysian is a term that shows the uncivilized, violent side of man. - and sucked into an Apollonian world - A more structured way of life, brings out the unique individuality in a man.
This term expresses the working and powerful part of man - which is keeping him away from his personal relationships with his fiance and co workers. He feels that if he doesn't follow his schedule, minute by minute, he will be lost in a timeless schedule. He always has a watch and pager somewhere on his body and in reach. If someone - like an employee or friend - finds a way to interrupt his agenda he will react in an unreasonable manner because they will put a dent into his exactly timed schedule.
When Chuck is on the plane before it crashes, the scene opens up with ear plugs in his ears and a blindfold over his eyes. All he is worried about is his sleep and what time he will land at his destination. He is only worried about himself. But when he wakes up and acknowledges that he isn't in control of anyone or any activity on the plane, he goes into the cock pit to see what is going on and to see what piece of equipment he can take power over. Even though he isn't qualified, he still has that need of power. All the technology has made him crave more and more control.
He is unplugged from reality and plugged into a fantasy of perfect time and agenda. While Chuck is on the island, he realizes that he has to adjust to the technology given to him, and he can't rely on his old corporate ways anymore. He knows that he will no longer be handed things like food and clothing without having to work for it. Sometimes he has to tune into nature's time of uncertainty and fate. His pager is now dead and the digits on his watch no longer appear. He has to find a new way of forming a composed daily routine of structure.
He's not used to making and finding his own necessities at first. For instance, when he first starts trying to open coconuts, he is trying to open it like you would a FedEx box, front to back. This results in a failure. But when he learns his old way of life won't survive on the island, he finds a new more primitive, uncivilized way to crush open the coconut, up and down, which succeeds. Another example is when he wakes up to the fact that he will have to make his own source of fire. The boys of the novel Lord of the Flies also ran into this problem while stuck on their island.
Plus, they also both have to make many different things like shelter and hunt down food while they are on their islands. Also, the rope Chuck first planned to use to kill himself, ends up saving him. He has recognized that he can't just give up because he doesn't have the old technology - like watches, timers, and pagers - he is used to. He has to adapt to these new essentials - coconuts, tree bark, etc - and now has to use his new inventions - like shoes and an axe - to save his life and get him off the island.
When Chuck returns home, he is more humbled and not so schedule crazy because of having to make industrial advancements on his own that he used to take for granted. He knows now that it's not always easy to just look at a watch and know what time it is or be able to cook dinner in five minutes. He has also learned that it's not the corporate world of time and planning that needs to mean the most in life, he needs to pay attention to relationships with friends and his fiance Kelly.
While he's rediscovering his old Apollonian world of time, structure, and business, he no longer wears his once ritualized watch and pager. Now he realizes that he doesn't need to check the time and latest information every minute to keep him alive and well. One scene shows Chuck's friend telling Chuck how everyone thought Chuck was dead, so they had a funeral. Articles that were put in the coffin were watches, old pagers, timers and other gadgets that Chuck used to be obsessed with. Now Chuck has been reborn, he no longer needs those watches, pagers, and timers.
All his old concerns of structure are now buried deep in the ground, along with the old Chuck. Chuck went through many technological initiations - where he had to take something like tree trunks to make something fabulous like a raft - while finding the more soft, calm, and caring side of him on the island. He turned a normal pair of ice skates into an axe, a raft out of some trees, rope, and a port-a-potty door that washed up on the island around the end of his expedition, and learned how to catch fish and crab with the throw of a spear he also had to construct.
He is also now able to say "I'm sorry" to friends and family. He has acknowledged that his friends, family, and especially his fiance Kelly deserve his apologies because of the way he always put his job first. Every time he had to make something that would've been simple to find in Memphis like shoes or a meal changed him to become a man that wasn't obsessed with his job and time. This concludes to the recreation of Chuck Noland. The man who survived four years on an island to become a humble, more calm, and non-technology-crazy human being.