Study Guide

The Terminator Deception

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The Terminator is basically a film warning about online dating before online dating was a thing. You think your date is a bodybuilder with a chic street-fashion style, and you end up going out with a killer cyborg sent from the future to kill you.

The dating scene is just the worst.

Like online dating profiles, the Terminator is all about deception. It deceives people into thinking it's human when its goal is actually to eradicate humanity. The fact that the machine can pass as human allows it to perform its destructive goals with an ease it wouldn't have if people could see it for what it was.

Yet deception works both ways in the film. Sarah believes herself to be nothing more than an average American woman. She certainly isn't the legendary mother of humanity's savior, right? But as Sarah undergoes her trails, she finds out exactly what she is capable of. By the end of the film, she's literally crushing it as humanity's savior.

Questions About Deception

  1. Which character would you say is the most deceptive in the film? Why?
  2. Which character would you say is the least deceptive, and why?
  3. Now compare and contrast the two characters above. What does this tell you about the difference between them? How does this affect your understanding of the film?
  4. How do you see the technology of the 1980s relating to the theme of deception?

Chew on This

The Terminators use deception to fight the humans, but the humans also use deception to fight the Terminators.

Sarah chooses to do away with deception at the film's conclusion.

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