Analyse how Frankenstein and Blade Runner imaginatively portray individuals who challenge the established values of their time. Mary Shelley’s epistolary Novel Frankenstein and Ridley Scott’s pastiche film, Blade Runner both express the contextual concerns of the post-industrial and post-modern eras respectively. Shelley’s novel operates as a Gothic expression of the conflicting values of the romantic and enlightenment eras, whereas Scott’s film acts as a predicted response to disillusion of boundaries of the post-modern period. Both composers, however imaginatively portray individuals who challenge the established values of their time, in accordance with the values and attitudes of their respective contexts. Through the characterisation of Victor Frankenstein, Shelley explores the concerns of the two prominent socio-cultural ideologies of her own context.
In both texts, both protagonists seek earnestly to become God-like by taking on the role of creator, Frankenstein with the monster, and Tyrell with the replicants. Both texts show that their protagonists seek, above all, fame. Their selfish pride drives them to cross the line, as all they truly desire is to be the first to do the extraordinary, the first to cross uncharted lands. Frankenstein can be related to John Milton’s Paradise Lost, as Victor seeks to earn himself a God-like
(Warning Voice) Integrate a bit of quotes from assessment sheet. Introduction Agree that “Power and dominance of science and technology is a ‘double-edged sword' ” Double Edged Sword: Technology can be used for good or for bad. It enslaves, subdues, wrecks. Context of both Frankenstein and Bladerunner Frankenstein: Sci-fi & Horror. (1818) Created by Mary Shelly.
Tyrell: Also extraordinary things, Revel in your time. The irresponsible nature evident in Tyrell through his mere experiments and goals of prosperity was used as a caution to the audience of the time as these were highly sought after objectives of the time and were deemed hazardous by Scott. Parallels can be drawn in both Frankenstein and Blade Runner , If new life can be created through advancements and discoveries as such, how is one human or not. This theme is recurringly penetratingly enquired in Shelley’s Frankenstein. The monster is physically appalling but experiences human feelings.
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
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.
An analytical interpretation of the texts, accounting for their differing contexts, divulges the composers’ endeavour to challenge the adequacy of contemporary societal values, primarily the idea of responsibility, and to forewarn us of the penalties of defying the natural order and distorting the limitations of man. It is not ‘surprising’ that man has continued to play god throughout the ages, but struggles to atone fateful actions. In the selected extract from Frankenstein, page 280, Mary Shelly empowers the monster by providing him with a bitterly reflective voice, lamenting the injustice that has developed throughout the novel leading to this heightened point. As the monster devours Walton’s ears with tales of his desolation and destitution he has agonized as an abnormal creation, the key issue of human responsibility to their scientific creations is conveyed. This reveals aspects of Shelly’s contextual background at the time of composition.
Blade Runner Essay Question: In what ways does a comparative study accentuate the distinctive contexts of Frankenstein and Blade Runner? Answer: Through texts composers have been able to highlight and examine key ideas relative to their specific context. A text has the ability to bring to the forefront its contextual ideas in a engaging manner. In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein the context is highlighted through 19th century ideas of Gothicism and Romanticism in an entertaining but concerning manner. 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.
For both Frankenstein and Bladerunner, the texts clearly convey both the time in which they were produced and illuminate why their composers chose the format through which they convey their concerns of the dangers of scientific knowledge and the inherit goodness of humans and the impact of life experience that provokes change. These two ideas continued as paramount concerns during both periods of time in which these texts were written and still resonate with society to this modern day. Shelley’s novel ‘Frankenstein’ is an exemplar of the texts popular in her time. It was known that both romantic and gothic texts had come to influence the literary scene of the late 18th century, a period of revolutionary political and social reform. However,
The theme of disruption refers to the unbalancing of what is natural, a theme which is explored and opinionated in Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein (1817) and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (Director’s cut), where ‘disruptive’ actions of individuals, involving the exploitation of nature, bring about [ironically] the character’s own downfall, and more importantly, an undesired outcome whilst playing god. The critical theme outlined in both texts is humanity’s desire for power which leads to the rejection of our natural world, and this, by extension, means turning to technology and other unconventional methods in order to gain knowledge and distinction. Shelley specifically cautions against scientific advancement and the obsession which follows