“The beauty of the dream vanished and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.” As the reader acknowledges this it give a nauseating impression towards Victor, but also a shocking undisguised impression of hatred. In chapter 11 we learn to understand Frankenstein when he narrates his flashback. “In my joy I thrust my hand
To what extent does the time in which the composers live influence their response to enduring human emotion? Our morality shapes us and forces us to explore new avenues, but our crude desire to unravel and expose the mysteries of life will drive and reveal a future void of moral and ethical compassion. It is this fatal warning which Mary Shelley and Ridley Scott seek to convey in their retrospective texts, Frankenstein and Blade Runner. Drawing upon their personal contextual concerns, both composers uniquely inform an ambitious humanity of that the implications of the ruthless pursuit of knowledge and our innate craving to penetrate the secrets of nature will inevitably drive humanity towards a dystopian future. Shaped by their distinctly different contexts, Shelley and Scott strive to convey this notion, through bold cinematic and literary techniques, characterisation and themes, of the fatal path humanity has placed itself on.
In what ways does the novel present knowledge as dangerous and destructive? Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is our culture’s most piercing literary analysis of the psychology of modern science, of the dangers exposed in scientific research, and of the horrifying but predictable consequences of an uncontrolled technological exploitation of nature. In Frankenstein, Shelley turns a skeptical eye on the Enlightenment celebration of science and technology and the urge for divinity. In a search for knowledge and uncharted land, Walton departed for the sea. Like Frankenstein, Walton is driven far afield by the heady Romantic ideal of “a thousand celestial observations”.
The way Frankenstein conveys his feelings as he beholds the culmination of his obsession shows a deep antithesis of the ‘beauty’ he had expected and the ‘horror’ which had become a reality. This antithesis reflects Shelley’s
Although contextual principles and ideologies evolve consistently alongside society, perpetual values regarding humanity and its profound interest in scientific progress continue to resonate over time. The didactical texts, Mary Shelley’s, ‘Frankenstein’, and Ridley Scott’s 1991 film, ‘Blade Runner-Director’s Cut,’ critique society’ definition of humanity and its values. When analysed in cohesion, the influences pertaining to the Romantic and Post-modernist contexts challenge the responder to question the ethical and moral concerns of its era. These include the violent, implacable and hubristic behaviour engrained within human beings, thus demonstrating the similarity between their respective contexts and textual mediums. Consequently, the nature of humanity and scientific progress are reflected through literary and filmic techniques, addressing the exploitation of mankind’s progress and ultimately questioning what it means to be human.
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.
Ernest is described in terms with positive connotations such as “spirit”, while Frankenstein is described in pejorative terms such as “loathing”. The juxtaposition allows Shelley to critique the Enlightenment and promote Romantic ideals. Humanity * Example: Frankenstein: “I ardently desired the acquisition of knowledge”. * Technique & Effect: Shelley uses the technique of dramatic irony to highlight Frankenstein’s error in the acquisition of knowledge, as the reader is already aware from the start of the novel the failure of
In Blade Runner, relationship between Frankenstein and the monster is paralleled though Tyrell and Batty. The investigation into identity comes as a result of the relationship between Deckard and the Nexus 6s in which similarly challenges us to consider what it means to be human. Both texts explore the potential of man’s desire for progress to disrupt the natural order, and challenge our traditional conception of identity. Frankenstein reveals how the protagonists act is in opposition with nature and the natural, while Blade Runner depicts a dystopic world where technology has overridden nature, leading to a world where identity is a mix of cultures and creations that are overcrowded and are defined by isolation. Although the texts stem from wide ranging contexts, the parallels between them allow us to explore the development, and changing interpretations of disruption and identity.
One becomes more intrigued by the relation between Frankenstein and Blade Runner when one considers the difficulty of their forms. The parallels in Frankenstein and Blade Runner are quite distinct such as their social and historical contexts, humanity motif and their differences in form. There is a notable similarity in their social and historical context, in Frankenstein as Europe moved away from a world dominated by superstition and religious faith to one of empirical scientific research and logical deductive reasoning, the Romantics helped to retain some of the personal and emotional compassion that makes us fully human. The swing towards a more humanistic attitude towards fellow mankind and the reverence for the natural over the manmade is clearly depicted in Frankenstein. Shelley questions the eighteenth-century scientific rationalists' optimism about, and trust in, knowledge as a pure good.
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