Lewis' interest in aliens and the Cuban missile crisis help to illuminate the themes of the play. In Summer of the Aliens, Louis Nowra, the author, uses a lot of symbolism and subtext. Independent themes and ideas, like the Cuban missile crisis and Lewis' alien fascination, are often interconnected with the main storyline. Because of this, there are many underlying themes that the reader may not notice on the first read through.
There are several themes behind the story, but they are all connected by the main theme, which is relationships.
The children growing up in the sixties were the first generation to challenge the idea of a normal life. People just expected that you would go to school, get a 'real' job, and then stick with that until you retired. Lewis and Dulcie both wanted more, especially Dulcie. She originally only wanted to be an acrobat. But when she realised this annoyed her parents, she saw doing this as a way to get back at them.
Her new rebellious attitude led her to saying things like she wants to be a prostitute and become a Moslem.
She was forced to express her emotions this way because of the oppression of the time. Society did not allow her to speak badly of her father and mention he was sexually harassing her.
Lewis did not understand Dulcie, and therefore did not always know where she was coming from. This is why he did not realise she had feelings for him until it was too late. When looking back, he realised the subtle signals she was giving him, like when she pretended to be an angel.
Dulcie: . . . I speak like an angel. My speech sounds like this. [She presses her lips against his hands and says the one...