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E.T. the Extra Terrestrial : Elliott's Relationship with E.T.

Array ( [0] => ENGL 4360 Spring 2017 [1] => no-show [2] => student exhibit )

Elliott's Relationship with E.T. 

By: Zack Forsyth

e.t. posterrrrr.jpg
Poster for the film. Depiction of Elliott and E.T. flying in the night sky. 

The Purpose of Spielberg's Film

Out of all of Steven Spielberg’s many great films, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial stands out as the most successful. Spielberg is able to capture suburban life with an authentic setting and family, while simultaneously throwing a supernatural sci-fi adventure into the mix. At the center of the plot is a coming-of-age story revolving around the protagonist, Elliott, who is dealing with many conflicts that children experience when they are growing up. Spielberg displays a link between reality and the supernatural, using a mystical, but realistic capturing environment, in order to present these childhood conflicts, as well as the means to cope with them, in his film. This issue of dealing with childhood conflict being affected by a level of fantasy lead to the film’s huge success by appealing to a large audience of children with its real issues and cool effects.

 A Quick Summary

The story follows a young boy named Elliott as he discovers an alien, who he later names E.T, hiding near his house. E.T. has been separated from his spaceship and fellow aliens. Elliott immediately takes a liking to E.T. and takes care of the frightened creature by hiding him in his closet and feeding him. The following day, Elliott shows E.T. to his older brother Michael, and his younger sister Gertie, and he makes his sibling swear to keep the mysterious creature a secret. Eventually we see a link form between E.T. and Elliott to the point where they feel each other's feelings, and as E.T. learns to communicate, we learn that E.T.’s objective is to “phone home” to go back to his own planet.

 Elliott's Connection to E.T.

This exhibit examines both sides of the previously mentioned link between reality and the supernatural. On one side you have reality, involving Elliott’s real world problems in his life. Elliott has these certain voids in his life, all of which are filled with the presence of E.T, who is involved with the other side. On the other side, there is the supernatural, which has everything to do with the aliens’ involvement in the real world. While, in the film, the two have an actual link between them that has to do with a psychological connection, they are also the link between the two sides to this film. E.T. is connected to reality; he requires normal skills and an understanding of this reality in order to achieve his goal. Elliot is connected to the supernatural; his issues are mostly holes in his life that are filled by E.T.