Both stories are about two families who leave America, their home country, to go to a foreign land. The two 'heads', however, leave for very different reasons, but they do somewhat leave their families with no choice but to go with them. In 'The Mosquito Coast', Allie takes his family to the Central American rain forests as a means to 'escape' America and it's fate with the Atomic Bombs. Allie also believes that his scientific research is not of any value in America, and believes that his inventions would be more valued if they where taken into areas that have barely been touched by civilization. Nathan, however, leaves his family with no choice when he says that they are moving to the Congo as part of his missionary work. He was actually offered this job, and took it in good stride, believing that he should take his message to places which are less civilized.
Nathan Price is a Baptist Minister who lives his life by the Bible. He believes that he is a coward for having escaped the fate of being killed in the Battaan Death March, where his whole team died, but he survive due to prior injuries. After that incident, Nathan became quite obsessed with the idea of God hating him for his cowardice. He vowed never to be a coward again and devoted his life to saving as many souls as he could. Nathan becomes so obsessed with his work that he believed that every obstacle in his way was a 'test by God' to see his resilience. Allie, on the other hand, is an inventor, so claimed by his son, Charlie. He seems to be obsessed, yet thinks quite morally. Allie believes that America is dying, so he decides to leave as he thinks it is too 'painful' for him to watch something he loves die. He gave the example of his mother, who was in hospital when she said '"Why don't you just give me rat poison?'", whereupon Allie said that he left, as he could not bear watch loosing someone close.
Both Nathan and Allie share the same obsession of getting to their goals. So much so, in fact, that they forget about their families welfare and safety almost completely. Even when There is a sudden turn of events, they seem undeterred by what they call their 'destiny'. Nathan was unmoved by the death of Ruth-May as he sees the rain as an opportunity to baptize the locals, instead of mourn for his daughters loss. Nathan blames the fact that Ruth-May was not actually baptized, hence making her death somewhat 'acceptable' to him. Allie believes the destruction of his machine was somewhat supported by Reverend Spellgood. Allie seems to be a very non-religious person, however, he does know the quotes of the Bible. This shows that Allie explores a few possibilities, yet he only decides to expand on those that he likes.
In that manner, Nathan is somewhat unwise in his approach to helping the people. He decides, as soon as he arrives at his house in Kilanga, to set up an 'American Garden', whereby he will make food for his family as well as show the the people of Kilanga his prosperity just because he...