One similarity between Cast Away and The Pursuit of Happyness is their affirmation of hope despite difficult external conditions.
In The Pursuit of Happyness, Chris Gardner faces challenging realities. Financial problems and their impacts on his marriage as well as homelessness are a few of these external conditions. He struggles with life as a salesman and as an intern who tries to obtain a coveted position. However, Chris's emotional strength enables him to persevere through these obstacles. He is confident that his life will improve. His optimism is evident in the relationship he develops with his son and in the way he treats other people. External reality challenges, but never withers, his confidence. In a similar way, the ability to maintain optimism in the midst of overwhelming challenges is seen in Chuck's situation in Cast Away. Stranded after a plane crash, Chuck battles through natural elements in order to survive. Creating fire, honing his skills as a fisherman, developing ways to get off the island, and even his relationship with Wilson represent Chuck's hope. Even when Chuck returns and finds that his fiancee has married another person and that he was taken for dead, he does not lose hope. His faith in restoration can be seen in how he returns the package that "saved his life" and in his smile at the end of the film. He stands at the literal crossroads, holding hope for his future. Cast Away and The Pursuit of Happyness are similar in the way the main characters embrace hope despite harrowing conditions around them.