Study Guide

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Alienation

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TYLER: Elliott. Douche bag.

MOM: No "douche bag" talk in my house!

Oof. Tyler has no qualms about calling Elliott a "douche bag" in front of Elliott's mother? That's cold!

GERTIE: What are you going as for Halloween?

ELLIOTT: I'm not going to stupid Halloween.

MICHAEL: Why don't you go as a goblin?

ELLIOTT: Shut up.

When Elliott first encounters E.T. in the backyard, Michael and his friends latch on to the idea that it's a goblin and run with it. And if you can't count on your older brother to mercilessly mock you for finding an alien in your backyard, whom can you count on?

MOM: All we're trying to say is, maybe, you just, probably, imagined it.

ELLIOTT: I couldn't have imagined it!

It's nice that Mom's trying to choose her words very carefully, but the bottom line is still that she doesn't believe her own son.

ELLIOTT: Dad would believe me.

MOM: Maybe you ought to call your father and tell him about it.

ELLIOTT: I can't. He's in Mexico with Sally.

GERTIE: Where's Mexico?

Even though Pops skipped town with Sally, Elliott holds out hope that his deadbeat dad will believe him. Why? And where is Mexico anyway?

GERTIE: Is he a boy or a girl?

ELLIOTT: He's a boy.

Elliott is adamant that E.T. is a boy, just like him, finally giving him somebody with whom he can identify. Aw.

TYLER: Hey, Elliot. Where's your goblin?

MICHAEL: Shut up.

STEVE: Did he come back? […]

ELLIOTT: Yeah, he came back, but he's not a goblin. He's a spaceman.

STEVE: Ooh, as in extra-terrestrial!

TYLER: Where's he from—Uranus? Get it? Your anus?

That Tyler is a regular laugh riot. Here's the thing: His jokes may be stale, but that doesn't make them contribute to Elliott's sense of isolation any less.

E.T.: He came to me! He came to me!

This whole "He came to me!" thing is a real sticking point for Elliott, and here's why: It means that E.T. chose Elliott as a friend. For a kid who's largely ignored or made fun of, that's a pretty big deal.

KEYS: Elliott, he came to me, too. I've been wishing for this since I was ten years old. I don't want him to die. What can we do that we're not already doing.

ELLIOTT: He needs to go home; he's calling his people. And I don't know where they are, but he needs to go home.

In order to live, E.T. needs to return to his community, to where he fits in. In other words, his alienation is killing him. That's deep.

ELLIOTT: E.T., stay with me. Please.

E.T.: Stay… together.

ELLIOTT: I'll be right here. I'll be right here.

When Elliott and E.T. are dying, they take care of each other, and it's important for Elliott that E.T. knows he's not going anywhere. For a kid who's been isolated and even abandoned, sticking around is super-important.

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