The abject is similar to the uncanny and comes from the psychoanalytic theory of Julia Kristeva, building on Freud, but focusing more on the child's relation to the mother. According to Kristeva, as the infant develops, the mother becomes the original other, the first not-me by which the infant becomes an individual separate from the world. This splitting off from the mother and the world is a primal loss, but also enables the creation of the self. The attraction of returning to the smothering embrace of the mother, of returning to oneness with the world, persists but, since it would lead to the extinction of the self, is violently rejected. Kristeva argues that the boundaries of the self and the individuality of identity must be constantly reasserted. The abject is that which threatens these boundaries of the self; that which disturbs identity, system, order; that which does not respect borders, positions, rules; that which is in-between, ambiguous, composite, hybrid. The abject produces both fascination and revulsion. The feeling of abjection is produced by that which undermines the integrity of the self and the body: maternity, orality (feeding and pre-verbal communication) and other primitive elements, as well as blood, vomit, and corpses.

What makes the Prawns in District 9 abject for Wikus, the other South Africans, and the viewers?

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