Arrival Summary
Ted Chiang

Everything you need to understand or teach Arrival by Ted Chiang.

  • Story of Your Life Summary & Study Guide

Arrival Overview

This short story is the basis for the film “Arrival,” with both narratives exploring a “first contact” type of encounter between humans and aliens. As Dr. Louise Banks strives to find a way to communicate with the “heptapods” (the name humans give to the aliens) she discovers changes in her ways of thinking and of experiencing time. As the short story develops its plot based on Dr. Banks’ simultaneous drives to understand both the aliens and what is happening to her, it also explores themes relating to humanity’s relationship with “the other,” the individualization of identity, and the experience of unexpected connection.  

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