As a consequence of time, the world continues to change technologically, socially, and scientifically. As do the common values and perspectives of man. Illustrations of this notion are exhibited through Mary Shelley’s novel, “Frankenstein” (1818) and Ridley Scott’s sci-fi film “Blade Runner” (1982) Both texts succeed in address contemporary issues at the time of their release such as what is humanity?, the consequences of assuming the role of God and the effects of scientific and technological advancement on society and nature . Both Shelley and Scott compose their works in a bid to warn people of the advancements at the time. This is done through provoking individuals to question and criticise the ethics and principles upheld in
This pursuit of knowledge and progress is not unlike that of the Nazi regime. Composed post WWII, the film also holds totalitarian overtones represented through Tyrell’s creation of a creature “more human than human” and Chew’s blindness to the ethical ramifications and moral obligations of his work (“I only do eyes”) in creating the eyes of the new human race (i.e. the future). Furthermore, Scott hints at the regressive nature of science through the interwoven elements of film noir and science fiction. The film also shows façades of twinkling, awe-inspiring lights with corrupt, dirty
In what ways does a comparative study accentuate the distinctive contexts of Frankenstein and Blade Runner? The values and morals of society have dramatically changed throughout the course of history, so too has the knowledge of science, its teachings and influences on the world. As new technologies have been under further experimentation into the production of man-made life forms, the debate between science and religion has continued. It is these issues within an author’s context that influences them and the texts they create. Mary Shelley’s gothic promethean novel, Frankenstein (1818), was released during the industrial revolution as romanticism was thriving, while Ridley Scott’s futuristic sci-fi Blade runner (1992) grew with the dawning of a capitalistic increasingly globalised and technologically driven society.
The multifaceted nature of humanity is revealed in both Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein as well as in Ridely Scott’s film blade runner. Despite the dissimilarity in time between the two, both texts essentially mirror each other, in effectively delving into the themes in which society was faced with. Together, both Ridley Scott and Mary shelly explore the repercussions that could come of growing scientific advancements that consequently slowly destroyed any concept of nature through out the 19th century, which brought about a rebellion against the concept of romanticism throughout that era. Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein unambiguously investigates the sublime in nature. Throughout Shelly’s era the notion of romanticism was highly influential
Additionally, Ridley Scott’s feature film Blade Runner depicts a dystopian world devastated by capitalism, greed and technology which were primary concerns in the context of the 1980’s. Through both these texts similar concerns of the future we are able to understand and bring to the forefront the two different contexts. Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein portrays her contextual concerns through a novel that incorporated letters and stories of characters going through other characters such as Walton’s sister being told the storey of Victor and the monster from letter’s from Walton. The writing of letters in Shelly’s context was one of the most reliable forms of communication. This helps us to understand that because they were using the most reliable communication technique then the information in the letters would seem reliable.
Shelley questions the eighteenth-century scientific rationalists' optimism about, and trust in, knowledge as a pure good. Blade Runner, however, has a strong environmental purpose, people during the sixties and seventies began to recognise the potential of human disaster through advancements in technology. Rather than resilient, nature was fragile and vulnerable when rhythm of nature was destroyed by the ever advancing and destructive technology. If ecosystems are repeatedly defeated human life will likely be extinguished. The bleak vision portrayed illustrates a chaotic nuclear holocaust, ecological fragility through soil depletion and acid rain.
Through the characterisation of Victor Frankenstein, Shelley explores the concerns of the two prominent socio-cultural ideologies of her own context. Victor by his very essence is a symbol of the scientific pursuit and discovery for knowledge and society playing with powers beyond human understanding in the enlightenment period; this reflecting the paranoia and concern of gothic romantics. Victor, challenging established values of the enlightenment period, attempts to “pursue nature to her hiding-places” and “learn the hidden laws of nature”. This is reflective of the lack of boundaries that industrialization and the enlightenment period were to bring according to romantics. Victor’s use of religious connotations when discussing his hubristic ambition and thirst for knowledge, is representative of the contextual fear that scientific advances will remove societal values of religion and the sublime.
A main character trait of Victor Frankenstein and the monster is their love and connection with nature. Both characters use nature to solace them when their moods are low. One of Victor’s favorite nature retreats is the beautiful lake in Geneva. He boated out there after William’s death and said himself how the “heavenly scene restored him.” Nature is able to satisfy Victor and create a sense of happiness. There are many aspects between the monster and Victor, but in many ways, are different.
Consequently, the ethics of humanity is challenged through these creators in both texts as they express the contextual concerns such as post-industrialism and greed. Shelley exhibits both nature and nurture in “Frankenstein”. The importance of nature is illustrated through the use of imagery. Victor states - “These sublime and magnificent scenes afforded me the greatest consolation that I was capable of receiving.” His surroundings control his emotions. This point of view is formed by Shelley’s experience of Romantic Idealism and sublimity.
Both Shelley’s novel and Scott’s feature film are examples of texts that transcend the age they are created in – they serve as warnings to humanity about the dangers of scientific alteration of the natural cycle Shelley’s Frankenstein was composed during an era of rampant social and scientific change; although this change was not necessarily progress. Shelley’s novel examines the moral responsibility of the scientist, and offers the consequences of annihilation of nature. During the 19th Century, the environment stopped being a source of beauty and inspiration and largely became another commodity; a casualty of the Industrial Revolution. Shelley continues the Romantic theme of emphasis on nature with her repeated