Sim, uma pessoa que foi assimilada pela Coisa definitivamente sabe que é uma Coisa. Isso foi abordado em alguma extensão no site de fãs Outpost 31, tanto em entrevistas com John Carpenter e Stuart Cohen (o produtor), quanto na seção de FAQ do site.
Nas entrevistas :
Q. In John W. Campbell's short story and Alan Dean Foster's novelization, there is absolutely no doubt that when somebody has been taken over by The Thing, the original person is dead and only his personality and memories are retained by the Thing in order to create a perfect imitation. This is the dialogue that confirms it in the original short story.
‘Kinner shuddered violently. "Hey. Hey, Mac, would I know if I was a monster? Would I know if the monster had already got me? Oh Lord, I may be a monster already."
"You'd know," MacReady answered.
"But we wouldn't," Norris laughed shortly, half-hysterically.’
However, in the documentary "Terror takes shape" featured on the DVD and Blu-Ray of John Carpenter's The Thing, Charles Hallahan says that the actors wondered if you would know if you were a Thing. He concluded by saying that Norris didn't know that he was infected but on a subconscious level, he was. This completely contradicts the short story and the novelization and doesn't make sense to me, as Blair would probably have realized that something was wrong when he was building a UFO for instance, which was not a very "human" thing to do.
So, my question, taken directly from Outpost31's FAQ: there is no doubt about it in the short story and in the novelization, but in the movie, does a Thing know that they are a Thing?
A. [Producer Stuart Cohen] "I listened to the DVD commentary again recently and I was surprised that Charles spoke of that. Our working presumption was that of the novella – and is really the only way to dramatically proceed. I think that Charles is referring to the sort of speculative discussion one has discussing motivation sitting around a table with other actors examining ways to play the role, but never intended to be put into effect… In any case, for our storytelling purposes I know John had all the actors play things absolutely straight, including Blair…"
A. [Director John Carpenter] "First of all, we stayed away from explaining how the Thing imitates a person. Secondly, I don't know if a person knows he's a Thing or not. I assume so, but it brings up complex, existential questions that perhaps would get in the way of a simple premise. Best not to ask."
Q. In terms of stage direction how did you have the actors playing infected characters approach their characters? Was it a case of playing it totally straight until the scene called for it otherwise i.e. the Palmer or Norris things truly believed they were Palmer and Norris or did you have the actors try to drop a hint or two that all was not well.
A. [John Carpenter] The actors played their characters in THE THING absolutely straight. A THING-imitated human would express outrage at being accused perfectly convincingly...
E na FAQ :
Q: If Norris was really a Thing, then why did he decline leadership of the team?
A: It probably passes up the opportunity because it knows full well that the leader will fall under close scrutiny by the other men, scrutiny that it would not be able to hold up to. (Just look what happened to Garry and Mac.) Norris-Thing had very quietly gained a level of trust with the men and used this position to keep the attention focused on others. It worked.
It also works well as a believable excuse to the other men because, as an imitation, it knows that Norris has a weak heart and the stress might not be a good thing. "Sorry fellas, I'm not up to .
Q: Does a Thing know that they are a Thing?
A: Yes. A Thing is no longer the person that was being imitated. That person is dead, and an alien imposter is in its place. So, there is no longer awareness coming from the human that once was for it to know or not know. Therefore, if you are sitting there wondering if you are a Thing, you certainly aren't.
In the blood test scene, the men themselves appear to doubt their humanity, but they probably weren't operating at peak logical power (several days of no sleep), still didn't know 100% how the alien operated, and were unaware that a Thing had been out consciously scavenging parts and framing people (except for Mac, the victim of a framing, who seemed very confident in who he is). It was also an important dramatic device to keep the tension up in that scene.
A parte mais importante da citação diretamente acima é declarada brilhantemente:
"Se você está sentado lá se perguntando se você é uma Coisa, você certamente não é."
Nota: Vale a pena mencionar que na novela Who Goes There? por John W. Campbell, na qual The Thing de John Carpenter se baseia, e o conto The Things de Peter Watts, baseado no filme de Carpenter, é absolutamente claro que as coisas sabem que são coisas. O mesmo vale para a novelização de The Thing, de John Carpenter, escrita por Alan Dean Foster.