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
One of the biggest themes that the author tries to get across to the reader is that every person has good and evil in them, but they are not equal. Throughout the book, there is a huge struggle between good and evil between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. These two men are actually the same person, but Dr. Jekyll takes a potion to turn himself into Mr. Hyde so he can do evil deeds. He does this because everybody has urges to do evil things, but Dr. Jekyll could not risk losing his reputation as a “good” guy in the society that he lives in. The main question is if good and evil can be separated, or is everyone stuck between the fight of both.
Inhumanity and monstrosity is depicted in Frankenstein, through the characters of Victor and the creature, whom can be perceived as doppelgangers. Initially the creature is seen as physically horrifying, which is expressed through description, the hyperbole “his face was wrinkled into contortions too horrible for human eyes to behold,” but is initially benevolent until contact with civilisation transformed him into a vengeful murderer. This also evokes Rousseau’s Romantic theory of the noble savage; that man’s existence is superior amongst nature, when he is not exposed to the malicious influences of society. Towards the end of the novel, Victor is also seen to be a monster, as he did not take responsibility for his creation, which leads to his realisation, “I, not in deed, but in effect, was the true murderer.” This is also a similar case for Tyrell in Blade Runner; however, he does not feel guilt for the treatment and injustice of his replicants. “Commerce is our goal,” is his slogan, depicting his greed and inhumanity, which is reflective of the economically driven 20th century.
Comparing Movie Clips to “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” The novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was written in 1886 by Robert Louis Stevenson. It has a central theme of the inner battle between good and evil. The setting of the story is in England around the Victorian era. The character being portrayed as good is Dr. Jekyll. He is a respected doctor and the character being portrayed as evil is Mr. Hyde an alter ego of Dr. Jekyll that only comes out when he drinks a potion.
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
Victor Frankenstein and Walton are “mirrors” of each other. Walton longs so badly for knowledge and recognition for his scientific experiments, but Victor knows the danger of an obsession with science and knowledge. The parallels or “mirrors” between the two characters show to the reader that Frankenstein’s story is actually a harsh warning to not only Walton, but to society also. This forces the reader to take note of the serious tone in his story. Frankenstein also realizes this and feels he has to tell his story to stop Walton making the same errors in judgment that he has; hoping that he will ‘deduce an apt moral from my tale’(31).
Produced in the following century where technological advances and growth played a major role in life & society. Shown in both text showing the “Double-Edged Sword” of the power and dominance of science and technology. Shelly’s Warning Voice: Danger of science and values. Through parallel characterisation and Epistolary narrative. Scott’s Warning Voice: Destruction of nature, caused by Science and Technology (taking it too far.)
This helps us to understand that because they were using the most reliable communication technique then the information in the letters would seem reliable. Shelly also expresses her concern with the increased curiosity amongst divine power through the character of Victor. “I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation”. This reflects preoccupation of enlightenment ideas about creation. This fear about man’s curiosity was driven by the increasing occurrence of science and curiosity throughout her life such as the creation of a mechanical duck in 1738 which was evident of the romantic and gothic periods of the 19th century.
Like Thoreau, Dr. King feels that there is an innate good in all people, and knows that the collective cannot idly sit by while their compatriots are done an injustice. At the exact same time, however, Dr. King is aware of the effects of psychological deindividuation found in group settings when he acknowledges that “groups tend to be more immoral than individuals” ( 12). This statement is more an attack on the white oppressors than anything else. Through deindividuation, Dr. King reduces his opponents to faceless masses incapable of thinking for themselves, but rather are subject to the mob mentality. Dr. King recognizes that this is a potential flaw in collective action, but the justice pursued by his movement prevents his collective from such ill effects.
Oliver Crossland “Most institutions demand unqualified faith; but the institution of science makes scepticism a virtue.” Robert K. Merton. By comparing and contrasting the ways in which knowledge and ideas have been used in three texts, discuss how science and related ideas have influenced literature over time. Throughout the three texts science may well be the most consistently pervasive influence. Whereas contemporary ideas such as social, political, and even religious developments varied considerably in nature, the scientists were discovering laws that applied everywhere and affected the prevailing worldview impartially. As the contemporary influences of time affect the idea of the texts, in this essay I will be comparing how scientific advances affected literature.