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E.T.

The Christological Symbolism of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

"He is afraid. He is alone. He is three million light years from home." The Christ figure in this Steven Spielberg film is none other than the title character, E.T. – a squat, wrinkled alien no more than three feet tall. [Instructor Comment: So, not ontologically human.] It is clear that he would never pass for human. Suggested likenesses offered in the film range from coyote to iguana, leprechaun to goblin. His chest cavity is transparent, revealing a "heart light" that shines when he is in communication with his mother ship. Finally, when using his special ability to cure sickness and restore life, E.T. touches his subject with an index finger that glows brightly.[1] Yet even in his difference, there is enough of what makes us human found within this alien frame to make us feel secure and at home in his presence. Though the physical strangeness of this character could be off-putting, Spielberg went to great lengths to ensure that E.T. would have many human expressions and gestures.  [Instructor Comment:  Psychologically human-like?]

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