The Terminator Essay Research Paper For the — страница 4

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one crucial stage further, confounding the proceedings by adding another dimension to the relationship between Sarah and Reese: Kyle is the virile, hardened fighter barking orders to the terrified Sarah, but alternately he is presented as boyish, vulnerable, and considerably younger in appearance than her. His childishness is underscored by Sarah s increasingly maternal affection for him (bandaging his wounds, touching his scars), and in the love scene, he is the young man being initiated by the more experienced, older woman. Kyle is thus both the father of John Connor and, in his youth and inexperience, Sarah s son, John Connor. (Penley: 1989, 122) Penley claims that this element represents what Freud identifies as the primal fantasy ; the deep rooted desire to witness the

moment of one s own conception. If we are to agree with Penley s reasoning, then this would appear to be precisely what the film offers, the fantasy of being able to, as Penley crudely puts it, to have your cake and eat it . Although, for Penley, this loop is so perfectly formed that something must be removed in order to forward the narrative, and that something is Reese. As the film draws to a close, Reese ironically calls the terminator a motherfucker and falls prey to an explosion which leaves him dead. Penley notes that John Connor has, in effect, selected his own father, created his own primal fantasy, whilst sending his father to his death (Connor never having progressed on to acknowledge the power and authority, thereby submitting to the father). Reese is both father and

son in the same relationship. I find a small passage by Jean Baudrillard sums up this triangle of affairs perfectly: You cannot have your cake and eat it too You cannot eat your wife and fuck her too You cannot fuck your life and save it too. (Baudrillard: 1996, 43) The whole Reese/Sarah relationship is also interesting due to its relation to time and space. As already mentioned, Reese had already fallen for Sarah in the future based on the photograph of her John had given him. Reese had become fascinated as to what it was the troubled girl in the photograph was thinking of: The film ends South of the Border with a Mexican boy taking a Polaroid of Sarah as she is thinking of Kyle. It is this photograph that John Connor will give to Kyle, forty years later, knowing he is sending

his own father to his death. (Penley: 1989, 119) The film has, in effect, created a time-loop paradox : an event which is shaped in the past before the future has happened. cause and effect are not only reversed but put into a circle; the later events are caused by the earlier events, and the earlier by the later. (Penley: 1989, 119) Indeed this is the crux of the whole relationship between Reese and Sarah. If Reese didn t travel back until the year 2019 to conceive John, how could John have sent him back before Reese had left? I find that Linda Hutcheon s description of Terry Gilliam s Brazil as a temporal historical warp quite fitting to The Terminator also, for as she states; contradictions are certainly manifest in the important postmodern concept of the presence of the past

. (Hutcheon: 1988, 4) It is a genuine mind scrambler, and not one which I intend to get into, as I find it an infinitely regressive argument which could end up going on for endless pages. Instead, I would rather turn to the photograph itself, for I believe that it offers another similarity, and a crucial one, to Blade Runner. In the film the replicants, devoid of a history of their own, develop a touching affinity towards photographs: photographs are now constructed as evidence of a real history, no matter what the truth of that history may have been. The image, in short, is proof of the reality, and images can be constructed and manipulated. (Harvey: 1994, 312) This is of interest as it once again ties in the Baudrillarian notion that the simulation has not only come to replace

reality, but to mask the fact that there no longer is a reality. In this relationship with Reese and Sarah, it is of paramount importance that the photograph should hide the lack of reality for Reese, as the reality has yet to happen – not only does it not exist, it can t exist until such time as Reese travels back to 1984. The time travel paradox working here perfectly with the notions of the simulacrum. To conclude, there is actually a great deal to say about The Terminator and T2. In this essay, I have tried to outline the major areas of debate and writings about the film, however I will have inevitably in an essay of this length left something out. Indeed, even the theory mentioned here is open to debate, and it is unknown whether writer/director Cameron has even