Frankenstein/Blade Runner: Mod a - Texts in Time Essay

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Humanity’s pursuit for knowledge and science has proven to transcend time posing challenging questions that are humanitarian and moral in nature. Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein (1818) and Ridley Scott’s film Bladerunner (1992) combine to explore similar issues despite being composed in different times and contexts. Both texts mirror the concerns of their contemporary society, serving as critical warnings about the possible consequences from mankind’s scientific and technological hubris, even to the point of playing God. The question, “what does it mean to be human?” is also challenged in both texts with the juxtaposition of creation and creator underpinning the exploration of this notion. When these texts are examined comparatively, the contiguity, proximity and associations that can exist between them shape more than just an interesting response but one that is illuminating. Both texts demonstrate man’s relentless pursuit for knowledge as detrimental to humanity’s existence. Shelly recognises the ‘horrors’ and dehumanising consequences of the prolific changes of the early 19th century. She criticises the great promises and progress of the Industrial Revolution using the isolation and destruction of the scientist Victor Frankenstein as a social warning for society. Victor’s egotistic obsession with “unfolding the deep mysteries of creation” forces him far away from nature and society into an isolated and dehumanised existence, ideas reflecting Shelley’s Romantic perspective. Shelly affirms foreboding Gothic overtones over scientific development through use of setting as Victor compiles his Creature in a secretive “solitary chamber” away from nature and people and sacrificing even his “health and sanity”, a motif for sickness continuing throughout. Victor’s accumulating loss of family and relationships in conjunction with his geographical isolation is emphasised

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