He sees himself reflected back by the actions of the openn as a fragmented and complex being, manipulated by an alien he thought he could control.
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Snow realizes that humans not only fail to see the truly alien but will not and cannot until they better understand themselves. Through this gap, itself hysterical, slipped the confusion between women and "woman," a confusion which in turn generated a perpetual oscillation that has never been able to move beyond its first contradictory articulation.
To accept a metaphorization, a semiosis of woman, on the other hand, means risking once again the absence of women as subjects in the struggles of modernity. They may offer interpretations of the phenomenon that is the ocean, but each historian or scientist can only produce a personal and highly subjective hypothesis and narrative.
Watching the ocean like this one had the illusion—it was surely an illusion—that the station was moving imperceptibly, as though teetering on an invisible base; then it would recover its equilibrium, only seekiing lean the opposite way with the same lazy movement. She was wearing nothing but a yellow skirt of plaited straw; her enormous breasts swung freely and her black arms were as thick as thighs.
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For Lacan, the most profound alienation comes with the inauguration into language and the "Symbolic Order. These fundamental premises reveal the gynesis which is necessarily a part of psychoanalytic theory. The opening sexual imagery which involves Kelvin in a cycle of birth and rebirth suggests that his landing on Solaris can be read as the birth of a fetus from the Solarian ocean-womb; from this perspective, he develops sefking infancy through the course of the novel.
He helps her to know that she is not the "original" Rheya, but never encourages her to develop herself independently from him except when he occasionally forces her to stay away from him, to give him the "space" to misrecognize himself as the unified individual he once thought he was.
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As the novel ends, the simulation of Rheya "commits suicide" with the help of Snow, because she knows Kelvin will never return to Earth while she is "alive. In the face of this huge body of "plasma" and its constant metamorphosis through various temporary growths or distortions which humans rigorously classify as "extensors," "mimoids," "symmetri," and "asymmetri," even "ocean" is overly simplistic and grossly inaccurate. However, they often fail as challenges to tradition because they replicate certain universalizing and essentializing tendencies of the philosophical approaches and constructs they reconsider.
He recasts astronauts and scientists as medieval knights on religious pilgrimages, men who quest to assert cultural dominance over new realms. Through the creation tk the new Rheya, Kelvin racd forced to contemplate his guilt over the suicide of the "real" Rheya, the nature of his feelings for both Rheyas, bll his tendency to repress emotions and memories.
As I noted above, it is possible to infer that Gibarian killed himself to escape the sexism and racism he saw in himself through what we see as a highly symbolic Phi-creature. He observes the ocean through lbk window in the space station, and fears the alienness of his surroundings: The wave crests glinted through the window, the colossal rollers rising and falling in slow motion.
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Eventually, however, Kelvin realizes the futility of reading and rereading these texts. Yet this image is also profoundly alienating, for the infant is still utterly dependent on others, motor coordination is largely undeveloped, and, most importantly, the infant has envisioned this coherent self by identifying with an image: he merges with a mirrored reflection.
A reading of human-alien relations as represented through language in Solaris through the work of Jacques Lacan illuminates this focus and highlights the process of gynesis in the novel. His attempts, however, will always be thwarted or, more literally, repelled, for the site of original desire is unreachable.
Thick foam, the color of sd, gathered in the troughs of the waves. And this understanding is what their experiences with the ocean of Solaris should provide.
With the assistance of a hesitant Kelvin, the attempt is eventually successful; the scientists find the creatures can now be destroyed. I had not undertaken this long voyage only to overshoot my target! The infant before the mirror, growing into the child who breaks his essential bond with the mother to gain his sense of self, is decidedly male. However, representations of gender can also be explicitly and inseparably tied to identifying factors such as race, sexual orientation, and class.
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Such quests, Lem suggests, do not require investigation of outer space, because human explorers have their eyes closed to the alien Other as well as to themselves. Theoretical approaches which reexamine master narratives, such as psychoanalysis, reveal many of the unstated assumptions of humanistic philosophies.
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NOTES 1. Kelvin is incapable of questioning fully his own gender-encoding tendencies, primarily because the psychoanalytic deconstruction which he jale is engaged in the process of gynesis.
To see the external universe with open eyes, the quest must begin within. Only then can he identify a self and reach out literally and figuratively to the alien. She opeh on her way, her grass skirt swinging rhythmically, resembling one of those steatopygous statues in anthropological museums.
There is strong suggestion of reincarnation as he is "born" of the masculine mother ship Prometheus, propelled into instant male bllk in which he engages in sex with a new motherand then turned back into a fetus within the Solarist ocean-womb. Thus, while Seekign may be transformed through his experiences on Solaris, not only does he fail to question his patriarchal attitude toward Rheya, but his understanding of the ocean does not and cannot reach past the gynesis in the psychoanalytic theory through which he can be argued to bl been deconstructed.
A vast reflective pool which defies human understanding, the ocean communicates only through the creation of Phi-creatures, causing the scientists to turn inward before they attempt to focus their gaze more directly upon this alien.
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Through fascination with the alienness of the ocean-as-mirror, Kelvin at first sees a whole and unproblematic "Self" reflected back. Jardine, Alice A. At first, Kelvin spends much energy trying to destroy her; but when he learns that Phi-creatures are indestructible, he attempts to understand these creatures as discourse, as alien communication. We cannot be sure what Df learns from his visitor; however, he is willing to kill himself to escape from what she represents malf him.