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Ridley Scotts 1979 film Alien has been admired and discussed for years The powerful yet fleeting image of the alien as well as its connection to the ship and crew is both fascinating and disturbing While many critics have speculated as to the nature of Alien and its symbolism few have commented on its role as related to the myth of Demeter and Persephone This may be due to the ambiguity in the assignment of the roles The roles of Demeter Persephone and Hades are all quite vague and even interchangeable in the film At first glance the ship seems to fill the role of Demeter Not only is it referred to as Mother but its sole purpose is to take the crew back home The opening scene introduces the audience to the ship by giving them a full tour which finally ends in the sleeping chambers This serene sterile environment is a sharp contrast to the rest of the ship It feels very safe and nurturing As the crew awakens a flower like structure which very closely resembles the aliens eggs births the crew into their safe and comforting environment giving the false illusion that they have now returned home According to Ovids Metamorphosis Demeters rescue of Persephone is also somewhat of an illusion since Persephone only gets to enjoy her rescue for half the year However after a closer look at the ship its role as Demeter becomes problematic The only places in the ship that are serene and tranquil are the living quarters the mother or computer room and the hospital Every other part of the ship is quite dark and ominous As the film progresses the ship mimics the conditions of the planet as an incredibly hostile place It now appears to have taken the side of the alien There are numerous instances where the ship imitates the physical aspects of the alien Not only is there dripping venom-like water all
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