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I think you misread both the movie and the novella. In both, Louise chooses her actions, despite knowing the consequences. In both, and especially in the novella, the overriding theme is that the journey is more important than the destination. It's not about where you go, it's how you get there. That is why Louise chooses to have her daughter, despite knowing she will die--because it is about the life her daughter will get to have.

The movie does a better job of showing the progression of Louise's perception of time. At the beginning of the move, she can see her daughter (i.e., the destination resulting from the first contact mission) but not the journey (i.e., her husband or intervening events.) By the time she calls General Chang, she can see the destination and part, but not all, of the journey leading to that moment (i.e., what he told her during the call). By the end of the movie and the novella, her perception of time has improved to the point that she can see her daughter's entire life (the journey) in the instant she chooses to make love to her husband and thereby conceive her daughter.

(Note that the movie goes with the illness rather than the climbing accident because it's easier to convey to mass audiences. The movie is about Louise's choices and perception of time, not her daughter. However, the novella devotes a significant amount of text to emphasizing the daughter's free-spirited ways, suggesting that the daughter would have gone climbing even if her mother had told her how and when she would die. People like that actually exist, see e.g. BASE jumpers as a direct analogy.)




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