This essay is about "What Makes a Meaningful Life" and "Why are we here?" In reference to the movie "Contact" with Jody Foster.

Essay by freshfartCollege, Undergraduate March 2006

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Early on, Ellie was curious about communicating to far away lands. Her father, Ted, helped arouse her interest in distant communication by showing her how to use a HAM radio. She asks her dad if it could be possible to talk to someone on the moon with her radio. He says "Well, if it's a big enough radio, I don't see why not." This leads her to question if it could be possible to talk to her mom if she had such a radio. Ellie's mother died when she gave birth to her due to some complications. This left Ellie motherless and wishing she could meet her mother one day. Ellie's father was her only family, and she was very close to him. When he died, Ellie was all alone and she blamed his death partly on herself. She said she could have saved him if the medicine were closer.

She didn't accept the pastor's words about her parents' death being God's will. Ellie grew up with a passion for the stars and wondering about their existence. She grew up being alone most of the time and this further motivated her to search for something missing in her life. Ellie took a scientific approach in explaining everything, and she did not believe in God.

Ellie becomes a well educated SETI researcher. Being without parents and friends for most of her life, Ellie had to be strong in character. Her pure determination to find extraterrestrial intelligence paid off shortly before her funding for the use of radio telescopes was about to be cut. She discovered a radio frequency being transmitted from the planet Vega which led her to a phenomenal experience. Ellie finally fulfilled her vision of finding extraterrestrial life and when she came back to Earth she didn't...