Aliens Essay Research Paper Maternal desire is

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Aliens Essay, Research Paper Maternal desire is the main issue in the film Aliens; for the heroine, it is loss and the subsequent regaining of the object of maternal desire that is significant. The considerable length of time spent in stasis, loss of job and primarily the loss of her daughter contribute toRipley’s physical and emotional displacement. Her cat is the only thing familiar to her, and so fills in as object of this maternal desire in theopening scenes. Ripley’s behaviour towards her cat introduces some of thematernal qualities the film seeks to present as essential; she comforts the cat in order to console herself, an act that Newt also exhibits towards her doll in a moment of uncertainty. This similarity strengthens the narrative’s premise that nurturing,

protective, and even self-sacrificing behaviours are components of maternal desire essential to females. The narrative ultimately seeks to emphasise that maternal desire is a quality essential not only to females but also to humanity, and is integral to human survival. The film contrasts this maternal desire with the’other’, a representation of sexuality focused on embodiment and monstrous reproduction. Together, these two discourses create a dichotomy of good and evil, with the female body as the site of their conflict. In constructing ‘good’ maternal desire as essential to humanity, the film offers a comparison with an opposing human trait, presented as potentially as destructive as the threat of the alien itself. This is the ideologyr epresented by the Company, a

profit-motivated, exploitative enterprise whose disregard for human life, and the values that maternal desire encompasses pose a comparable threat to human survival in this film. The female body is introduced in the opening sequence as Ripley, resting peacefully inside her autosleep chamber. It is a ’sleeping beauty’ image, complete with male salvagers/rescuers who must break down the barrier of the pod’s sealed entrance to discover her. The autosleep chamber, an artificial womb-like structure within which life is supported, presents a continuing theme in the film: the nature of the relationship between living and artificial, especially the possibilities of interaction or fusion between human body and machine. Ripley’s living presence is positioned in contrast with the

interests of the salvaging team; here the female body provokes resentment, because it stands in the way of economic profit: “…Looks like she’s alive.” “Well, there goes our salvage, guys.” Already, the female body (and the values that it represents, which will become more defined through the course of the narrative) is juxtaposed against capitalist ideology of property and profit. The horror of bodily invasion is first conveyed through Ripley’s nightmare sequence, and then through repeated scenes of her waking up from the same dream. She is convinced to return to the planet because of her own need to exorcise the experiences that continue to haunt her. Although she has not been physically invaded, she is embodied emotionally by past trauma, and thus still feels

threatened by the alien. Her body is tortured by the guilt, fear and loss that possess her, and this psychological invasion is manifested in her nightmares. Anxiety about the female body specifically is demonstrated through the combat film discourse; even in a science fiction world, the marines’ representation is essentially stereotypical. The viewer’s first glimpse inside their ship is of a poster on a locker door showing a nude woman; the camera then pans to rack upon rack of guns, and a cargo bay stocked with weaponry. The female body as an agent of combat is a focus of anxiety for the marines; a factor that Ripley must overcome to be accepted. There are females within the corps, but they seem to have conformed into the male stereotype as well, the most obvious being