Victor represents society intent on pushing the boundaries and themonster represents the product of this curiosity; of technology gone wrong;technology without ethics. “Accursed creator! Why do you form a monster so hideousthat even you turn away from me in disgust?” The monsters constant rhetoricquestioning addresses these ethics and illuminates the monster as a symbol of innocence in the face of corruption. Victor’s relationships also allow insight into themoral dilemma of creation. Victor’s positive family relationship is juxtaposed againsthis spite for the monster, a somewhat child of his.
However, the values remain consistent and thus via the respective forms of the text, composers explore issues relating to humanity and unchecked science. Within each text, the composers similarly explore how when scientific endeavour is pursued without a moral frame, the consequences for creator and created, and furthermore humanity, are devastating. The impact on mankind is reflected as Victor Frankenstein brings his monster into existence. This is evident through the use of high modality as he says ‘a new species would bless me as its creator’ and ‘natures would owe their being to me’. Victor’s distant and cold language reveals his overwhelming hubris and reflects the conflation of scientific and Romantic paradigms.
The Gothic genre allows the purpose to reach the audience. In Chapter two, Victor meets his creation in the presence of nature, contrasting the scientifically created monster. The sublime gothic technique emphasises the power of nature to adjust Victor's mood, giving perspective of its relative importance. The novel's epistolary structure, as an example of realism, contains the personal accounts of Frankenstein and his monster. Their downfall due to technology gives credibility to the warning.
One of the ways Shelley explores the dark side of the human psyche is the suppressed and forbidden knowledge which Victor Frankenstein is hungry for. We can see this when Frankenstein states 'how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge'. However it will ultimately lead to a happier life that the man 'who believes his native town to be the whole world'. This drives Frankenstein to exceed the boundaries of science hence create new life. Shelley portrays the desire of knowledge as lust which, if left unhindered, can drive a man to peril.
Frankenstein driven by romantic imagery and set in historic context, that analysis the European divide in society perpetuated by superficiality. Contrastingly Blade Runner is consumed by commercialism that reflects the dystopian globalised world that omits normal societal values and morals. Both texts challenge the morality of artificial creation that is motivated by the characters' relentless ambition. The texts employ techniques such as allusions and tactical characterisation to depict the disconnection to nature and the manipulated visions of the characters as well as introducing the question of 'what it means to be human?' Character is emblematic of the ideas within the both texts.
Thus the linking premise is that dehumanisation or a loss of identity results once nature has been disrupted, and humanity becomes subservient to technology and scientific advancement. Frankenstein conveys the notion that the destructive thirst for scientific knowledge and pursuit for superiority results in a loss of morals, as well as a disrupted connection to the sublime world and innate self. Shelly believes that the maintenance of a moral world is structure around the need for mankind’s fair and benevolent nature; that the depth and beauty of life comes from the natural world. In the beginning, Victor Frankenstein is portrayed as a naïve individual who is inspired by the sublime: During my youthful days discontent never visited my mind; and if I was ever overcome by ennui, the sight of what is beautiful in nature could always interest my heart (p.201) However, as Frankenstein ages and develops a connection with Science, he ‘ardently desired the acquisition of knowledge’, and is then characterised as the Promethean hero who
“Gothic and Romanticism” – David Punter Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus and a Monster’s inevitable doom In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, it appears that Shelley attempts to draw an important analogy between the lone genius Prometheus, the archetypal seeker after forbidden wisdom, and her own protagonist Victor Frankenstein, who also dares to transgress boundaries in order to create life. Thus the subtitle The Modern Prometheus. However, it is crucial to note the invariable difference between both old and modern Prometheus. Whereas old Prometheus suffers alone for his sin, in the case of Shelley’s Prometheus, Frankenstein, the monster involuntarily partakes in the sin, by being its final product, and therefore has to suffer too. To the reader, it seems that Shelly consistently reminds us of the lack of responsibility on the part of Frankenstein, and the monster’s inherent innocence, who is only made evil by his circumstances.
Shaped by their distinctly different contexts, Shelley and Scott strive to convey this notion, through bold cinematic and literary techniques, characterisation and themes, of the fatal path humanity has placed itself on. Mary Shelley’s seminal novel, Frankenstein 1818, is a moral fable combining conflicting paradigms of Romantic idealism and Enlightenment rationalism. Shelley delves into these ideologies in a classic gothic horror story that presents the unequivocal issues concerning the ethics and consequences of the pursuit of knowledge and scientific experimentation. Influenced by the increasing popularity of galvanism, Shelley effectively illustrates her apprehensions through the character development of Victor Frankenstein and his juxtaposition against nature. Victor admits his deep desire for ‘immortally and power’ through ‘penetrating the secrets of nature’, which is manifested in his technological innovation of the creature, highlighting the extreme yet realistic potential for technology to create human life.
Consequently, the nature of humanity and scientific progress are reflected through literary and filmic techniques, addressing the exploitation of mankind’s progress and ultimately questioning what it means to be human. By reflecting on their respective social and technological milieus, Shelley and Scott depict the detrimental repercussions of artificial construction through the parallels in ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Blade Runner.’ In particular, the turn of the 19th century saw the fascination with Galvanism, regarding the animation of animal tissue through electricity, inciting Shelley to confront this ideology based on a ‘life force’ that would infuse life in an inanimate object. Through the first person perspective, responders are exposed to Victor Frankenstein’s obsessive behaviour in overcoming the metaphysical boundaries of ‘life principles’. Thus, by metaphorically ‘pursuing nature in all her hiding places’, Shelley questions the implications of synthetic formation through her use of a contemplative tone in acknowledging the ‘astonishing power placed within [his] hands…and the manner in which I should employ it’. She answers this through her
Her warning of the dangers of such actions is encapsulated within Victor’s concerning words of “how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge”, whilst Shelley’s use of a fragmented epistolatory narrative adds a disturbing sense of truth and realism, foreshadowing the dark consequences of Frankenstein’s actions. Shelley’s warning is evident throughout the novel which ultimately reflects her context through the concern of scientists within her era exploiting the advancements in science. It also reinforces the dangers of our humanity’s inherent yearning to play the role of the Creator. Such a warning also exists within Scott’s “Blade Runner” where the director echoes the rise of capitalist principles through the symbolic dominance of Tyrell’s towering dwelling, a reflection of both his desire for omnipotence and commercial power. Scott’s warning of the dangers of