Frankenstein and Blade Runner Comparative Essay

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Texts in Time Frankenstein and Blade Runner Reflection Statement Texts in Time Frankenstein and Blade Runner Reflection Statement HSC Advanced English David Touma HSC Advanced English David Touma Despite a 164 year contextual barrier, the significant values and concerns of Mary Shelley’s 1818 gothic novel Frankenstein are exemplified in Ridley Scott’s post-modern pastiche cult classic film Blade Runner (1982). Both composers demonstrate similar perspectives on common thematic concepts; including the obsession with knowledge, science and technology, the usurpation of the role of god, as well as neglecting filial responsibility and revenge. Despite their differences in context and medium, both are effective in exploring the consequences of their common concepts. Contextually, Shelley explicates romantic idealism as opposed to enlightenment, and the post-industrial European environment, whereas; Scott’s film noir sci-fi echoes issues regarding excessive industrialisation and globalisation, adding voice to Shelley’s precautionary tale. Frankenstein was composed during the Romantic period; which involved challenging previously accepted, scientific statements, regarding the practical and ethical possibilities arising from human enquiries into the sources of life and human knowledge in general. Romantics such as Shelley held firm views in the rejection of science and rationalism, espousing the sublimity of nature and emotional experiences. This ideology involved the concept that mechanical production, such as seen through the Industrial Revolution, led to the alienation of man from essential human nature. Shelley’s Gothic writing style was heavily influenced by such ideologies; evident through her use of vivid imagery, juxtaposing the beauty of natural elements and the hideousness of scientifically manufactured beings, a symbol of the Enlightenment; “I watched
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