Date of Award

8-12-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Calvin Thomas

Second Advisor

Dr. Chris Kocela

Third Advisor

Dr. George Pullman

Abstract

Despite the wealth of scholarship on the films in the Alien series, the first two films connect the most to the universe created in the original film and effectively complete the primary narrative arc for the series hero, Ellen Ripley. A preponderance of the research offered on the Alien film series focuses on Ripley, the iconic xenomorphs, and their Alien Queen. However, I also explore the roles of other liminal characters in the films, such as synthetic humans Ash and Bishop. Addressing the recurring motifs in the films, I discuss the sliding signifier of "mother" and track how the signifier “child” undergoes many other interesting distinctions. The outcomes of the liminal beings and the mother/ child relationships provide another range of perspectives for analyzing these films. Furthermore, the Weyland-Yutani company exemplifies one of the more powerful motifs of the film: the power of corporations and governments to define our bodies.

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