The Terminator Essay Research Paper For the — страница 3

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it is truly to James Cameron s credit that some seven years later he went on to create Terminator 2 (hereafter referred to as T2); a film which once again starred Schwarzenegger as another android – Cyberdine Systems, model 101 – but this time choosing to positively personify the robot ; for Nothing would appear more laudably humanist than the film s emphasis on learning such lessons [that to kill, or terminate is wrong], its insistence on a human agency informed by moral principles. (Pyle: 1993, 239) In this film, Schwarzenegger plays an android of the same production series that has been reprogrammed and sent back in time by John Connor to protect himself, as a boy, against the new threat of an enemy prototype terminator which has also been deposited in the past – the

T1000; a machine that consists of liquid metal which can mimic, or simulate anything it touches. In the present, the young John Connor resets the learning chip in the guardian terminator s head; thus giving it the capacity to learn. Forest Pyle claims that the crux of the first film was our desire to attain mastery over the machine. A modernist belief that technology should make the world a better place, not destroy it. It is a reflection of our fears of technology: when the human opposition to the machine finally triumphs in The Terminator, the opposition between human and cyborgs begins to appear as the human projection it always was. (Pyle: 1993, 234). In the sequel, the machine is no longer solely a killer; it is a thinker, a protector, a father to the young John Connor, and

an entity capable of learning the value of human life : The cyborg has been humanised , capable of learning, and crucially of dying. In the first film, as Sarah flattens the terminator in the hydraulic press, she declares, You re terminated, fucker! . She now gives voice to a belief in the capacity of the terminator not merely to be terminated, but to experience death . (Pyle: 1993, 240) With the relevance of this last quote, the similarities of T2 to Blade Runner become clear. Both seek to answer the questions of what does it mean to be human and could a machine or artificial intelligence ever hope to achieve this end? Both films seem to regard the ability to mourn your own mortality as an indication of humanity and both climax with the death of the robot , each providing the

most poignant scene of that film. I will explain the ending of T2 in more detail later. In any case, the similarities of human and non-human are drawing together, not apart as in the first Terminator film. This could be due to a distinction drawn by Linda Hutcheon between the Other such as females, and those that are merely different : Of course, the very concept of difference could be said to entail a typically postmodern contradiction: difference unlike otherness has no exact opposite against which to define itself. (Hutcheon: 1988, 6) Under these conditions a cyborg could almost become human for the divide between the two is seen as unstable and unclear – Hutcheon notes that difference is always provisional. It is of interest that it is a paternal quality in relation to the

boy John, that allows a machine access to human qualities; for the father is a crucial figure in Freudian psychoanalysis, notably surrounding the Oedipal complex. In a simplified version, this condition revolves around the premise that the young boy is attracted to his biological mother, yet harbours deep resentment against his father for being the focus of her desire. Initial hatred is later replaced by obedience and conformity, as the boy models himself on the father as this is clearly to him what the mother wants. Oedipal connotations in film are widespread, and Blade Runner provides an insight as a nodal point of Freudian psychology. David Harvey claims that the character of Rachel is only allowed access to the realm of the human by acknowledging the power of the father

figure – Deckard – and she escapes the schizoid world of the replicant time and intensity to enter the symbolic world of Freud. (Harvey: 1994, 312) I would argue that the terminator gains humanity through a similar method; this being his acknowledgement that the father figure is none other than himself. The film is at great pains to point this out, right down to Sarah s voice-over narration explaining that of all the potential fathers that came and went, the terminator was the only one that made the grade . Indeed, the death of the terminator comes when he lowers himself into a vat of molten steel; melting himself down in the hope that it will prevent the apocalyptic future, thereby making a better world for his son . Constance Penley takes this Oedipal analysis of Terminator