Frankenstein and Blade Runner

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Frankenstein and Blade Runner “By studying two texts together, we come to a heightened understanding of their meaning and significance.” Period literature and cinematography provide insight into the composer’s societal paradigm, reflecting the historical setting and contemporary issues maintained at the time. Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel, “Frankenstein”, and Ridley Scott’s 1982 film, “Blade Runner”, encapsulate distinct time frames and contexts, respectively highlighting the author’s opinions and concerns within those periods. Despite contrasting societal environments, both texts comment on the human obsession toward scientific advancement and its subsequent consequences, as well as questioning the aspects and qualities that define humanity. Being composed over 150 year apart, the congruency of the texts’ core values transcends time barriers, not only demonstrating their significance and omnipresence within the human condition but also providing new insight and perspectives through differing contextual interpretations. As a romantic novel, Frankenstein responds to the encroachment of rationalism and the Age of Enlightenment, specifically the unknown repercussions of man’s hubristic pursuit of knowledge. Shelley’s apprehension to science, influenced by the late 18th century industrial revolution and galvanism, is encapsulated by Frankenstein as he ‘infuse[s] a spark of being,’ forming a creature that ultimately destroys him. This is an intertextual reference to the subtitle of the novel, “The Modern Prometheus”, evoking the Greek myth of man’s desire to become god and paralleling the disastrous consequences stemming from ambition. Additionally, the epistolary structure of Walton’s letters acts as a framing device to Frankenstein’s destruction, foreshadowing the result of his own journey. Shelley utilizes Walton as a foil to Frankenstein drawing comparison
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