After reading the Alien paper, I felt that it interpreted the film primarily through the lens of gender. So I thought I would add an additional interpretation through the lens of race (xenophobia) and nation.

The film could be interpreted through the lens of race (xenophobia) and nation. For example, the alien is obviously something other than the humans on board the ship, so the fear that the humans have of the aliens’ monstrousness might be in part based on the alien’s otherness, as well as fears of colonization or miscegenation, the entering of a cultural space by an alien intruder and the transformation of that space to fit the needs and desires of that alien-other at the expense of its original inhabitants.

Within the article, they mentioned a scene where Ripley showed reluctance in allowing a potentially polluted member of their group back into the sanctity of their ship for fear of endangering the integrity of that group. This scene could also be read as a reminder that in the human world, women are often placed as being carriers and protectors of cultural values inter-generationally, so Ripley’s desire to protect the ship’s integrity was a demonstration of the desire to maintain a societal order created and determined by human motives and values, rather than one created by an alien-other. So in short, Ripley is a mother.

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