Originally Posted by TigerFang
Elliott’s arc is that Elliott grew up a little more because of his encounter with E.T. He overcomes his initial fear of the creature; that’s growth for a young boy in this story of coming in contact with an extraterrestrial being. No father around, so he makes decisions on his own—faking illness to stay home with E.T., for one. Taking care of his brother and sister, for another, plus involving them in his deception of their mother. Elliott’s responsibilities really increase when he realizes E.T is dying and must get home. Elliott has an arc of personal growth, of taking responsibilities as “the man of the house” even though those responsibilities are not adult ones. Elliott does “the right thing” for the extraterrestrial being despite his desire to keep him.
Spielberg says Elliott is based on himself as a boy. Wikipedia: E.T. the Extraterrestrial
Elliot initially thinks of ET as a pet. He wants to bring him home and keep him. Elliot evolves when he comes to terms that ET is a powerful alien
emotional being that needs to get home. He goes from being self-serving to selfless-- giving up everything to help another emotional being find their way home. Along the way, he falls in love with ET and ET falls in love with him. Commercial. Universal.