Analytical Reflection:Ridley Scott's 'Alien'

Essay by cjross04High School, 11th gradeA+, June 2005

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English Extension - task: Analytical Reflection of: Ridley Scott's film 'Alien'

Question: write an analytical reflection of the film 'Alien', include genre, contextual influences, ideology, interplay of technology and nature, and social meanings.

"We live as we dream - alone" (Joseph Conrad)

Ridley scott's science fiction film Alien offers it's audience with a multi-dimensional discourse on a plethora of issues which confronted the world in the 70's. The film also presents the responder with an abundance of deeper concepts, five of which will be addressed in detail; social meanings, the interplay of technology in Alien, Genre, ideology and contextual influences. Some arouse debate, reflection and pose questions on societal issues. Issues such as capitalism, changing roles of women, western society's dependence on oil, and the morality of scientific curiosity and technological pursuit.

In terms of social meaning Alien provides a representation of capitalist society in the structure and social hierarchy of the characters.

The class divisions are evident in the chain-of-command of the crew. The most privileged tier of society or the upper class is symbolised by Dallas (captain of the Nostromo), whom has greatest authority and command on the ship. The middle class is represented by Ripley (the protagonist) and Ash, as they have a say in matter and they're opinions are noted, but Dallas has the ability the overrule them. Labourers and engineers, Parker and Brett, epitomise the lower-working class, where the individuals strive for better pay and their opinions are ignored. Parker is the lowly paid African American, and Brett represents the working white underclass. These two represent the failure of manufacturing as an industry in United States.

Money is the key to divisions in the crew as it is in capitalist society even though Alien is set into the future, which implies that the...