Jurassic Park : Flirting and Fecundations part 2 (4444 words)
In the first part of this article I tried to put forward how all the characters of Jurassic Park can be put in order inside a dynamic of procreation.
I explored how the fact that Ellie and Alan’s relationship should be threatened by their disagreement over children jeopardizes their mission on the island. Scene after scene, things get more and more insoluble as they remain firmly set in their positions. Grant doesn’t want children, Ellie wants children and both pretend that they’d rather see the relationship fall apart than change their minds on the matter.
When the jeeps start the tour, Alan has just rejected Ellie again: Tim and Lex are in the first car. Ray announces the storm; things are going to collapse soon.
After the two first dinosaurs did not show up (And I don’t have an interpretation for that when it’s necessarily metaphorically meaningful), Ellie takes a jab at Alan by starting Ian again on the topic of chaos.
Ian: The tyrannosaur doesn’t obey set patterns or park schedules; it’s the essence of chaos.
Ellie: I’m still not clear on chaos.
Ian: Oh, it deals with predictability in complex systems.
They all know since the helicopter that between Ian and Ellie, “chaos” means “flirt with me.”
Ian explains the butterfly effect, which doesn’t need to be explained by Ian Malcolm to be an empty theory aiming only at making an impression over people/women. Ellie pretends to be out of depth in order to flatter the man and make him understand that she’s available for more. Ian doesn’t miss the opportunity; he touches her hair and starts an “experiment” which involves touching, holding and caressing Ellie’s hand and wrist (erogenous zone).
Ellie even gives him an opportunity to compliment her by echoing the word “imperfections” when he talks about those of her skin which might have influenced the drop of water.
Luckily for him, Alan spots a jeep in the middle of a field. It’s the same technique as the seatbelt. “I’m not interested one bit in what’s going on here, I’m in my own world, Ellie if you want to do anything, just do it I don’t care.” He jumps out of the car and Ellie follows him straight. If she had been interested in the least in Ian, she would have stayed in the car.
And actually, Ian’s surprise here shows some naivety on his side… and the naivety of his theory. Chaos makes the world more innocent, you don’t need to see through people’s motivations. You don’t need to see that many things can be explained and that their explanations are not necessarily beautiful. Chaos is convenient.
Anyway, it’s again the hidden conflict between Ellie and Alan that triggers an unexpected event. This would have never happened if… Ellie didn’t want children. And I’m not criticizing her here. I’m pointing at the fact that everything goes wrong in Jurassic park because of procreation. The people of the park thought they could become godlike creators and nature screws them with what ? One single woman who wants to have babies. Hi hi hi.
Robert Muldoon loses his nerves “I told you how many times we needed a locking mechanism on the vehicle doors ?”
“I spared no expense” someone ? John Hammond is ready to pay to put fetters on cinema seats but not locking mechanism on the doors of cars that are going to transport people in a park full of dinosaurs (Lethal electric fences). He might have spared no expense when it comes to seducing his visitors, it doesn’t mean he gave their safety much of a thought... which is the starting point of the story if I remember well.
While they’re all walking towards the spot of the mysterious jeep, Tim and Lex are both glued to Alan and that makes me pretty sure that it’s their father who’s leaving their mother. Tim tries to attract the man’s attention by talking dinosaurs again, whereas Lex uses a more indirect approach: she trips, Alan catches her hand and she won’t let go.
Ellie witnesses the incident and rejoices in it. It’s the first time that Alan betrays any consideration for a child. But she’s just been awful to him (by flirting ostentatiously with Ian) and needs to make up for her behaviour. Alan declares that the triceratops is the most beautiful thing he ever saw and Ellie starts displaying a lot of concern for the animal as well as skills and will. She cares about the triceratops and is fascinated by the animal too, but her involvement is as ostentatious as her earlier flirting with Ian.
The guard tells her that the animals don’t eat the toxic berries; she checks the droppings and confirms it. To sum up, her theory is unfounded and her whole investigation -microvesicule on the tongue, dilated eyes, what are her symptoms? Finding of lilac berries- adds up to nothing.
She walks passed Ian and Alan and pretends to be absorbed in deep reflexions. Ian comments on her plunging an arm in a giant pile of faeces: “She‘s tenacious.”
Alan answers: “You have no idea.”
We know he is referring to her insistence to have kids. But on a deeper level, it refers to the fact that she’s just done all that to reconquer him. She’s inflicted herself a punishment to show Alan what she’s ready to do to get him back.
At the beginning of the following scene, she announces that she’s staying with the triceratops. Why doing this after putting so much effort into showing Alan how much she cares? Because when he grabbed Lex’ hand, Ellie understood that Alan isn’t spontaneously hostile to kids and cares about their well-being.
She realises that she has been playing against herself by insisting on the matter when what she should really have done is leaving him alone with the kids and remaining at a safe distance... or more precisely, endangering the kids and letting Alan take care of the rescue. She already attempted to leave him alone with them with the "choice of jeeps" incident.
Now, I’d like to make a pause in the scene-by-scene analysis.
Let’s imagine Tom and Tania. They’ve been together for five years. Tom announces Tania: I wanna have kids Tania. And she goes “Oh ! Yes ! Totally ! When do we start ?” Tom answers: “Let’s go on a nice romantic trip this week-end.” “Yeeess”
Ellie and Alan now. “I want a baby.” “I want dinosaurs.” “Ok, let’s go on a romantic week-end and have… baby dinosaurs !”
Alan and Ellie witness the birth of a velociraptor. The one they saw on the ultrasound at the beginning of the film ? She is fascinated by the birth part and Alan the dinosaur part. When she sees the triceratops she goes “hey baby girl.” Is it really the kind of offspring Alan wants to have?
Ellie and Alan are both trying to understand what their partner wants and as “baby dinosaurs” don’t exist they go on The Island of Dr. Moreau to find non-existing creatures.
I stated in the first part of the article that the whole adventure was a fecundation. The island is an ovary, the helicopter fecundates it. And when they leave, two beautiful children have appeared.
The point of this little parenthesis was just to underline Alan’s position: True, he doesn’t want children but he doesn’t want children because he is more interested in researching dinosaurs and they’re incompatible.
While they’re walking towards the Triceratops Lex and Tim eventually manage to get some attention from Alan but he stops and says “everybody stay here.” He’s still more interested in the dinosaurs than in the kids.
But the harm is done. Ellie noticed the fact that the only way he could pay attention to the kids is when they’re in danger or need help. So she makes herself disappear thanks to a convenient excuse, “I’ll stay and take care of your childhood favourite dinosaur,” and leaves him “alone” with the kids hoping they’ll get into some trouble that will force Alan to take care of them.
Now, this is where things become tricky because I’m going to try and transform Ellie into a Tyrannosaurus Rex in front of your bedazzled eyes.
In Jurassic Park, and even more obviously in Jurassic World, the female character is the T-Rex and the male, the raptors; metaphorically speaking of course.
Here, Ellie is inflicting another blow to Tim and Lex. She’s used them as tools to make a point in her argument with Alan without considering their feelings and they got rejected by a father figure, and now she’s pretending not to care about whatever happens to them so that he feels responsible for them and they are rejected by a mother figure.
The position they are in is one of unimportance in the face of another person’s own interests. Until that moment they’ve only experienced Alan’s rejection, but now, in the face of these multiple rejections their mother figure decides to abandon them so that their father figure reacts.
Ellie is transforming into Alan, she makes a point by pretending not to care about something or to have her mind on something else. This displays a deep lack of consideration for the children’s feelings and affective needs and this can be represented metaphorically by a devouring. And Ellie can be represented as a dinosaur because she becomes the female version of raptor man.
Before the attack Grant goes and checks something with Gennaro and doesn’t ask if the kids are alright. The father figure doesn’t care, the mother figure abandoned them hoping something happens to them that makes the father figure comes back. Great situation.
Gennaro reprimands Timmy for taking the night vision goggles because they must be expensive. Why is Gennaro so obsessed with money ? I cannot argue much for this theory, but Gennaro gives me the feeling of an abused child who, because he wasn’t loved, is only interested in money. He really seems to be extremely immature emotionally. When the footsteps of the Tyrannosaurus (the monstrous mother figure wake him up, he looks into the rear-view mirror, but the way it is filmed, he is looking at himself. This is judgement.)
His mother incarnates judgement, not love. That’s how I see him. The T-Rex eats the goat which represents complete innocence: them, the children. Gennaro panics and runs away and hides in the toilets like a child. Seen like this, I see a little boy getting killed when the T-Rex bites him. And although it is horrible, I think it is a lot more interesting than a bastard lawyer which we don’t care about.
Now, Alan’s “The T-Rex’ vision is based on movement” is somewhat true on another level than literal. Literally it’s false, but metaphorically, Ellie is not here to kill anyone. She’s here to scare the kids so that Alan takes care of them. Ian is wounded to the leg as collateral damage. It refers to the way she’s flirted with him when actually she didn’t much care. His manliness is hurt. But Alan knows that she is bluffing, that she does not represent a real threat, hence the “if you don’t move he can’t see you.” The T-Rex becomes some kind of childhood monster, it is only here to trigger fear => movement. If it fails, well it fails. Nothing happens. She kills Gennaro because he abandoned the kids and she wants to trigger the exact opposite behaviour in Alan. Alan necessarily was the one who could escape the T-Rex, because he is the one who knows Ellie best, and he escapes it using his usual technique “I’m not moving, I’m not interesting, don’t mind me”.
Fiou ! You can stop reading. The main goal of this article was to reach this point. And that’s why I said at the beginning that proving that the T-Rex could perfectly see static object wasn’t that interesting. It’s a complete different thing to look for secret facts than to look for meaning.
The T-Rex attacks, Gennaro is killed, Ian is hurt and Alan is left to take care of the kid… how surprising.
At 1h10m22 John Hammond realises he has grandchildren. His formulation emphasises the fact. “Robert I… I wondered if perhaps you would be good enough to take a guest jeep… and bring back my grandchildren.” I really love that line. John Hammond shifts from his nonchalant irresponsible persona to a more human incarnation of himself. The situation humbles him and that’s a beautiful thing to witness. He is so shocked and absorbed by his worries that he doesn’t hear Ray who calls him.
When Ellie finds Ian Malcolm lying under the rest of a bamboo wall, his clothes are torn apart. He is “naked” in front of her, his wounds are exposed. She witnesses what she did to him. He put a tourniquet on his leg/wounded phallus; which means, she humiliated him but he will survive, he is stronger than that.
“Can we chance moving him ?” is a very ambiguous sentence as it can be taken as “his wound is too important, we might aggravate his state by moving him” but it sounds a lot more like “The T-Rex isn’t far, is it wise to take the time to bring him back to the car ?” I really don’t know what to do with this question because it makes a serious bitch out of her and I’m more inclined to think I’m misunderstanding her line.
Also, once she’s noticed the car that has fallen from the road (!?! Isn’t it where the goat used to be ?) she climbs down to check inside the car whether Alan is alive or not (she only calls for Alan, the children’s names are never uttered). So, there wasn’t time to transport Ian but there was to look for more Alan Grant. I really cannot be sure about this because it makes the character unforgivable and it seems illogical to do that.
The T-Rex appears and starts chasing them. During the chase, there is a very noticeable shot which shows Ellie shouting with terror in a very very insistant way. I’m underlining this because the intensity of her reaction makes it look more like horror than fear. She is not worried about her life while shouting, she is overwhelmed by the vision of the T-Rex, by its essence. I put this on the fact that the T-Rex is her. Someone is holding a mirror to her, she is given a look at herself and she realises the monster she’s been. If I’m right, she should become a lot more concerned about Tim and Lex, just after this scene.
There really is something personal in Ellie's reaction. A bit as if a nightmare of her childhood was becoming reality. "I've become like my mother !"
Hidden into a tree, Tim and Lex cuddle up to Alan and his raptor’s claw hurts him => He has to show warmth and tenderness and his idea of manliness is threatened. He throws the raptor’s claw. The kids have won.
Yippee, the ice-cream scene comes next. John Hammond and Ellie Sattler have a chat and Ellie talks about Ian, Tim and Lex’ well-being for the first time. She lectures Hammond about his illusions and she seems pretty genuine about all this. She grew up.
Sadly, Hammond did not. He blames Nedry for all that happened and talks about a “next time.” In the following scene, he is trying to convince Ray Arnold to shut down the system. This initiative means erasing everything that Dennis Nedry has done which paralyses the computer system of the park.
Robert Muldoon suggests the lysine contingency which means killing all the dinos and surprise, John is firmly against it: “This is out of the question.”
Shutting off the system means considering that Nedry is the culprit for everything that is happening, the lysine contingency means considering that Hammond is; the park in itself. Hammond faces Ray Arnold and goes: “People… are… dying. Will you please shut down the system?”
He is repeating Ellie’s words but in a complete inappropriate manner. I don’t understand why they made their scene end with the ice-cream joke. The situation is catastrophic, Hammond is still babbling incoherently, Ellie criticizes him seriously and then eat some ice-cream and goes “it’s good.”
I understand that we are supposed to take it as “it’s not because a situation is dramatic that ice-cream isn’t good anymore.” It’s a joke, just like the “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear” during the chase with the T-Rex.
"I spared no expense" "Did you really say that again when my boyfriend and your grandchildren are most likely in the stomach of a dinosaur because of your negligence ?" "It's not my fault ! It's Nedry's !"
But still, doesn’t it undermine Ellie’s whole argument to compliment Hammond on anything, one second after she’s made it ? (It does). And doesn’t it undermine her whole argument that she doesn’t cut his head off when he dares repeat again “I spared no expense” without any sense of irony ?
I asked a friend of mine for some help on that matter because I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was going on here and she told me that the problem was that Ellie cannot afford to be disliked by anyone and thus she cannot make the conversation become personal. She is not lying but she depreciates her argument once she’s made it on purpose, because she still needs John Hammond to like her, because she is vain/weak.
Or because he metaphorically is the god of reproduction. If the trip on the island is a fecundation, Ellie needs John’s approval, his recognition… Ellie needs to be acknowledged as a female ! Alan never did acknowledge her. She screwed up with Ian. Hammond doesn’t give a shit and Ray… well Ray has just arrived on the list of potential partners.
Her incapacity to reject Hammond (her desire to have babies) is very important because the argument about shutting down the system would have gone differently if Ellie had truly been against the old man. Here, he dares use her words “People are dying” to obtain from Ray Arnold that he takes the risk to shut down the system and cut the electricity of every fences in the park. We know from earlier that the raptors test their fences regularly.
John Hammond, with his “people are dying,” is arguing for setting all the dinos free instead of killing them and this for everybody’s safety. He really is a convincing man.
John: "We need to make the fences work again !"
All:"But if we entrap Alan and the kids inside a paddock with some dangerous animals !?!"
John: "won't happen"
All: "But if Alan and the kids try to go through and get electrocuted !?!"
John: "Won't happen"
All: "But if we free more dangerous animals by shutting down the whole system !?!"
John: "Won't happen !"
All: "Why not simply kill the dinos !"
John: "Are you crazy !?! People are dying outside ! We need to shut down the power ! I'm absolutely not saying this in order to transform this all mess into a simple T-Rex getaway due to the betrayal of one irresponsible employee."
The systems are shut down and of course, things don’t work out as planned. But as Ray Arnold doesn’t seem too negative about it, and he was the one to be firmly against the initiative, we swallow the fact that it wasn’t a mistake (When it was, again we’re at a point of the story when things could have turned out differently. Arnold didn’t need to die).
In the meantime, Alan, Lex and Tim are walking their way through the park and witnessing the T-Rex attacking a herd of Galiminus. They are more or less safe. Both ideas, shutting down the system or killing the dinos were irrelevant. Strange. Does it mean that trying to regain control of things is in itself stupid?
"Now... this is not gonna be as easy as switching on the kitchen light" Ah ah ah. This remark is so incredibly out of place that I had never noticed that it truly stems from Hammond's old school machism and that he is alluding to the fact that Ellie is a woman.
Anyway, John’s remark about having to go to the watershed instead of Ellie because he is a man and she is a woman is the symbolic recognition of her gender. She is the only one who can bear a child in the group.
I’m not clear on this but getting the power back has something to do with impregnating Ellie. The park used to engineer dinos, now Ellie is taking control in order to engineer a baby. The park used to be Hammond but now it’s Ellie.
And we arrive at one of the first elements that made me tick. When Ellie turns the power back on, at the precise moment Timmy gets electrocuted, Ellie is attacked by a raptor. Now that Alan has become strongly attached to the children Ellie puts their lives at risk. This raptor is Alan’s anger.
So Alan becomes hostile to Ellie and everybody who’s brought back the power. Ray is dead, Muldoon dies. Poor Muldoon really, as soon as she enters the shed Ellie doesn’t give a shit about him anymore.
Ray Arnold and Robert Muldoon’s deaths are to be associated with the first scene of the film. The black man is vanquished as an alpha male by the raptors and this time around Muldoon doesn’t make it either because “he can’t resist” Alan. Both Ray and Robert die because they accept a mission which goes against their deeper selves. Ray is manipulated by Hammond into doing something he is against (I'm most surely wrong here, Ellie needs to be responsible for Ray's death but I don't see how) and Robert cannot win against the raptors by definition.
Eventually, Ellie finds all that’s left of Ray Arnold, his phallus, which has been pointed at all the time through his constantly hanging cigarettes and Muldoon is seduced/killed by the raptors exactly in the way Alan had described at the beginning of the film. How could he possibly know that ? I mean, how could Alan Grant know anything about how the raptors hunted ?
Alan enters a building in which skeletons of dinosaurs are hanging from the roof. To him, they’re back where they should have stayed. The experimentation is over. Outside, just after he’s left Lex and Tim on their own, he comes across Ellie. She growls “run” and although we could think it’s to be linked with the raptor which is on her ass, I think she is telling this to herself. She is wounded and exhausted but she cannot allow herself not to run to him because she has to make him forgive her a lot of things.
Also, she jumps on him with her legs spread. She's learnt the lesson.
The problem is that, Alan still doesn’t want any kids and because of Ellie’s behaviour, everything takes a step back. Alan is split in two, exactly like at the beginning of the movie but a lot more violently. He doesn’t want any harm to Lex and Tim but he distances himself from them as an argument of Ellie’s in order to make him want children. The more she insists, the more he’ll be hostile to Lex and Tim.
So, there’s a part of him who wants to destroy them, and there’s a part of him who wants to protect them. Ellie doesn’t care about them. Damn ! So the whole ice-cream scene with John Hammond is pure bluff; neither of them has evolved, they’re both still focussed on their own selfish goal.
In the computer room, when Lex has to shut the door through an application, Ellie makes herself totally useless. She fails to grab the gun to kill the raptors, when she would totally grab it in one second if she wanted to, and the place where she pushes on the door is so close to the hinges that it certainly makes little difference whether she’s there or not.
1 - "Ellie get the door locked" "You can't hold the door on your own" errr... because you think you're helping baby ? 2 - "Ellie, try to reach the gun." "I can't get it unless I move" well then, move because you're totally useless at the moment.
Lex’ computer skills is what saves them all. And it annoys me because I absolutely don’t understand Lex’ evolution throughout the story. I can see that everything is related to her sexuality but she only goes through negative things:
Alan abandons her when she is aroused by the stunt they performed to escape the T-Rex => the sewer pipes and the water. If it’s not clear, she is wet.
Then there’s her perception of the male sex organ and ejaculation => The Brachiosaurus which sneezes.
Then there’s how she perceives her huge sexual urges => The T-Rex which devours innocent little creatures. Yes, women’s libido is comparable to a hungry T-Rex.
Then losing her virginity, breaking her hymen => Killing her little brother (the park electric fences)
In the kitchen she escapes rape though => The Hoven trap for the raptor.
And eventually, she manages to see herself as a woman when locking the doors => Nedry’s erotic pics appears onscreen just after she’s made the right operation.
But is this positive ? She is "shutting doors." It really seems that at the end of her trip she's experienced something negative for every aspect of her sexuality.
So, I really don’t know how to understand her evolution. It really doesn’t sound good when I think of it.
(Edit: Maybe, it's the way she is saved in the air vent from the Raptor that just reverse the tendancy ? She flees from extremely agressive masculinity => the raptors, but it's Grant who finally saves her from it).
Anyway, if Alan could stop or kill the raptors, it would mean that he finally gives up and accept to have children. But this he can’t. Hence the ellipsis when he shoots at them so that it’s believable that he misses.
Oh, and by the way, when John Hammond shouts “GRANT” while hearing the fire shots on the phone, I’m sorry to say that at this point it’s very ambiguous whether he is scared for his grandchildren or for his dinosaurs.
As he cannot stop the raptors, what Grant does is accept to die first, which is metaphorically impossible. The raptors cannot kill Alan either. Still, the fact that he should protect Lex, Tim and Ellie with his life shows how determined he is not to have children. At this point, Ellie is forced to give up and the T-Rex appears magically to save them. As soon as she accepts that she will never have children with Alan, the raptors disappear because she was the one triggering Alan’s hostility by endlessly insisting.
In the helicopter, Ellie looks at Alan. Both Tim and Lex have cuddled against him and he’s accepted them. Ellie’s eyes are wet but she looks serene, Alan too looks at peace. He can acknowledge the fact that children are beautiful and that he can love them because she can accept that he doesn’t want any. The end.
Now, where’s the fecundation for frog sake ? In the helicopter, Ellie’s hair is detached, which means something sexual happened to her (it’s a common trope in movies that when a woman is not ready for sex her hair is attached and when she is ready or after, her hair is detached).
I believe the watershed is her vagina. Yes, sorry but damp (watershed), dark, long and narrow corridors are often vaginas in film. And sometimes it doesn’t even need to be a corridor, buildings work to, like in Ghosts of Mars, or the cellar in Ghostbusters (2016), or the library in Ghostbusters (1984). It makes sense that Muldoon (homosexual) will not enter it, is suddenly distracted by raptors (alpha manliness) and tells Ellie to run away.
"There's a raptor in front of us" "Really I can't see it Robert" "Shut up ! I tell you there's a raptor in front of us ! Am I boyscout or not !?!"
"Now go into the watershed woman !" "But Robert, there's no fucking raptor in that direction !" "Shut up you dirty sl... I mean, Ellie ! There's no way I'll penetrate this watershed !"
It makes sense too that she should send Ray Arnold first. I suppose he impregnates her but is then “killed” by Alan’s image (raptors) because Ellie only wanted his phallus (bloody arm).
It is also very meaningful that John Hammond can’t guide her properly whereas Ian knows his way around.
So, because she starts a pregnancy (closing the ovary that is the island because she is now pregnant) she rejects Lex and Tim again and Alan counter attacks.
At first, I thought the spread legs when she jumps on Alan would be the most likely to mean “sexual encounter” but she already has her hair detached at that point. Her hair is detached in the shed. The sexual part happens in the shed.
And so, I was wrong, Timmy and Lex never become Ellie’s metaphorical children, but Ellie gets pregnant on the island. She's got that one last trick in her sleeve, will Alan find the strength to reject her baby when he learns she is pregnant ? Too bad one of her kids isn't black in JP3.
Edit: raaa... I'm not satisfied with this. Ellie cannot get pregnant metaphorically in the watershed and literally be in the helicopter. She can't be pregnant at the end of the film. The problem is: what the shrog does the watershed scene mean ? I'm 100% sure about Robert not wanting to enter it because he is homosexual. I'm 100% sure that the watershed is Ellie's vagina. Clearly Ray's arm has to do with something phallic and impregnating Ellie. The corridors are her vagina and she reaches her uterus where the power generator is to be found. But what can this mean that she reactivates the park ? Is it that the park is a giant reproductive machine and that Ellie, after having failed on every level with Alan symbolically decides to use an artificial way ? I really don't know. This watershed still keeps some secrets.
Edit 2020 : Ellie restarting the park means trying to have kids with the help of science, on her own, without the help of a man. That’s why Ray Arnold gets slaughtered and leaves only his bloody phallus. Black men are often used as the embodiment of the male sex drive. Back when I wrote this article I thought they were used as “sex for pleasure” but, I’ve realised that they’re used as the universal primordial man because human beings started black . That’s also why Muldoon the homosexual is killed, because he is helping Ellie to get rid of heterosexual men.