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.
The electricity is alluded to, as a spark, when Victor Frankenstein brings his creature to life by “infusing a spark of being into the lifeless thing”. However, after witnessing the monstrosity that he has created, Victor recognises “How dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, how much happier that man who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow”. However, the irresponsibility of Victor, after his uncontained experiment, led to the gradual loss of all his loved ones leaving Victor in misery
It is Frankenstein’s responsibility to teach the monster and see it as a friend. It’s because Frankenstein rejects his creature that causes it to become evil. “Oh No mortal could support the horror of that countenance. A mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as that wretch. I had gazed on him while unfinished; he was ugly then, but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing suck as even Dante could not have conceived.”(pg.49) Each time the monster killed it was a consequence of Victor’s actions.
Shelley’s use of Galvanism and Genesis, with the support of biblical allusion to criticise humanity’s disregard for nature during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century is used to exemplify the detrimental consequences of science on individuals. The struggles face by the Creature in an attempt to live peacefully, supported by the Creature stating: ‘You gave me life…but left me to die’, emphasises on Victor’s lack of responsibility for his own actions, the repetition of first person narration ‘I’ and ‘me’ and the use of oxymoron capture the responders’ sympathy and leads to the conclusion that the Creature is possibly more human than Victor. The Creature also struggles to gain companionship from his creator and other individuals due to his grotesque physical appearance: ‘When I became fully convinced that I am the monster that I am’, this is supported by his statement: ‘My heart yearns to be known…’, the use of personification emphasise on the Creature’s desire to be ‘loved’ by
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.
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.
To what extent does the time in which the composers live influence their response to enduring human emotion? Our morality shapes us and forces us to explore new avenues, but our crude desire to unravel and expose the mysteries of life will drive and reveal a future void of moral and ethical compassion. It is this fatal warning which Mary Shelley and Ridley Scott seek to convey in their retrospective texts, Frankenstein and Blade Runner. Drawing upon their personal contextual concerns, both composers uniquely inform an ambitious humanity of that the implications of the ruthless pursuit of knowledge and our innate craving to penetrate the secrets of nature will inevitably drive humanity towards a dystopian future. 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.
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
Victor Frankenstein was an arrogant and ambitious scientist that wanted to play with the powers beyond human understanding and answer the ‘secret of life,’ with his “human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanisms of the Creator of the world.” Frankenstein effectively achieved this by “bestowing animation on a lifeless matter.” Shelley throughout the fourth chapter expresses the excited and ambitious scientist during the process of seeking his answers, he thought he was about to create “a new species [that] will bless [him] as its creator and source.” However this is juxtaposed with the decline of the individual which is revealed in the next chapter, “Now that [he had] finished” he realised “the beauty of the dream had vanished and breathless horror and disgust filled [his] heart.” By answering the ‘secret of life,’ Frankenstein is forced to accept the consequences from releasing the ‘monster’ on the world. Shelley uses techniques of imagery to describe the unnamed monster “I had gazed on him while unfinished; he was ugly then, but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived.” Shelley makes constant references to the physical and emotion price paid as a result of the individual, Victor
Throughout the time, authors’ contexts have been heavily influenced by their social, historical, economical and moral beliefs. However, in both texts, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, despite the nature of their different contexts and modes of production both composers effectively reflect what are constant aspects in human nature, ‘a willingness to accomplish the goal of omnipotence’, ‘connection with nature’ and ‘connections between creator and created’. Feared by their different surroundings where inception of new philosophies and unknown knowledge provided unlimited possibilities of science, Shelly and Scott established their stories in forms of a didactic text which demonstrate the catastrophic consequences