Frankenstein and Blade Runner Comparative Essay 2010 Trial Paper

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Analyse how Frankenstein and Blade Runner imaginatively portray individuals who challenge the established values of their time. Mary Shelley’s epistolary Novel Frankenstein and Ridley Scott’s pastiche film, Blade Runner both express the contextual concerns of the post-industrial and post-modern eras respectively. Shelley’s novel operates as a Gothic expression of the conflicting values of the romantic and enlightenment eras, whereas Scott’s film acts as a predicted response to disillusion of boundaries of the post-modern period. Both composers, however imaginatively portray individuals who challenge the established values of their time, in accordance with the values and attitudes of their respective contexts. 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. Shelley’s portrays of Victor aiming to expose the “secrets of heaven and earth… secrets which I desired to divine”. This is indicative of Victor’s challenge to the established values of the romantic period in his “desired acquisition of knowledge”. Shelley

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