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.
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.
It suggests that an ambitious person will surrender moral integrity in order to achieve power and success. This is portrayed through Tyrell, the Creator of the Replicants and possibly the mastermind behind the world’s rapid propulsion into a world of science. Bladerunner is a dystopic science fiction that holds similarities to Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) and George Orwell’s 1984 (1949). Both these texts have influenced the themes present in the film regarding contemporary society’s failings and the speculation on the potential consequences of continued scientific pursuit. This pursuit of knowledge and progress is not unlike that of the Nazi regime.
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.
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 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
The replicants are artificial, the memories are artificial. Technology has well and truly taken over. Akin to Frankenstein, Blade Runner acts as a severe warning to the depressing future we may have if we try to push advances of science and technology further and further beyond the limit. As before mentioned, it is the hubris of the protagonists in each text that causes the highest diminution of humanity. 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.
Common thematic concerns that run throughout both texts include science, retribution and monstrosity. Scientific advancement is an ethical problem that has been conferred through literature over centuries, shown in Frankenstein, written by Shelley in 1818, and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner released
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.
Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein and Ridley Scott’s motion picture Bladerunner (Director’s Cut) both imaginatively portray several individuals who challenge the established values inherent within their respective contexts. Both compositions are cautionary tales regarding the creation of life, the challenge of the unwritten moral boundaries of society, and the nature of humanity. Contemplation of the human condition has remained an enduring concern of literature and the two texts offer many similar reflections, however, the language form, meaning and significance of each portrayal differs according to context. Analysis of each text’s rendering of these characters offers the audience insight into the changing values and perspectives ingrained in the nearly two hundred years between publications. Consideration of context is central to understanding the established values challenged within each text.