Write a Close Reading Essay on the 2016 film “Arrival”.
Your Close Reading Essay must be 1,250 to 1,500 words in MLA format.
One of the most striking features of “Arrival” is its nonlinear structure, which disrupts traditional storytelling and creates a sense of disorientation. The film is bookended by scenes of Louise with her daughter, who we learn has died of a rare disease. These scenes are interspersed with Louise’s work with the aliens, and as she begins to understand their language, she experiences vivid, nonlinear flashes of memory and premonition. This structure allows the film to explore the concept of time and its relationship to perception and memory. As Louise gains
Looking for a similar assignment?
Let Us write for you! We offer custom paper writing services
The heptapods’ language is depicted as a series of circular symbols that are not read in a linear sequence but rather in a holistic, gestalt-like way. This is a direct challenge to the way humans typically communicate and perceive the world. The film suggests that our linear way of understanding time is tied to our language and our ability to communicate. By learning the heptapods’ language, Louise gains a new perspective on time and, ultimately, a new way of being in the world.
The film also explores the limitations of language as a tool for communication. Louise’s work with the heptapods is hindered by the fact that they do not share a common frame of reference or cultural context. This raises questions about the extent to which language shapes our perceptions and limits our ability to understand those who are fundamentally different from us. The film suggests that true communication requires not only language but also empathy and a willingness to step outside our own cultural and linguistic biases.
Finally, “Arrival” grapples with the question of human purpose and the role of free will in a universe where time is not linear. The heptapods’ arrival on Earth is revealed to be an attempt to help humanity avert a global crisis. However, Louise’s experiences with their language suggest that the future is predetermined and that her actions are not truly free. This raises questions about the nature of human agency and the role of fate in our lives.
In conclusion, “Arrival” is a visually stunning and thematically rich film that challenges our assumptions about language, time, and human existence. Through its nonlinear structure and depiction of the heptapod language, the film asks us to reconsider the way we perceive and communicate with the world around us. Ultimately, it suggests that true understanding and communication require empathy, a willingness to step outside our linguistic and cultural biases, and a recognition of the limitations of our own perceptions.