In what ways does a comparative study accentuate the distinctive contexts of Frankenstein and Blade Runner? The values and morals of society have dramatically changed throughout the course of history, so too has the knowledge of science, its teachings and influences on the world. As new technologies have been under further experimentation into the production of man-made life forms, the debate between science and religion has continued. It is these issues within an author’s context that influences them and the texts they create. Mary Shelley’s gothic promethean novel, Frankenstein (1818), was released during the industrial revolution as romanticism was thriving, while Ridley Scott’s futuristic sci-fi Blade runner (1992) grew with the dawning of a capitalistic increasingly globalised and technologically driven society.
Since the time Francis Galton coined the term “Nature vs. Nurture” there has been theories and debates about each side. The debate is focused around the determining or causing factors of the differences in physical and behavioral traits within a human. Nature takes the role of the individual’s innate qualities while nurture bases itself upon personal experiences. Romantic literature is characterized by an emphasis on emotion, passion, and the natural world and gothic novels liked to play with the dark side of human nature and frailty. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein shows elements of both aforementioned and woefully shows humans in nature and human nature.
Although texts are often constructed to reflect the values and ideas prevalent in their composer’s society, evolutionary relationships may exist between two texts, presenting similar issues, governed by the same values and perspectives. This is evident in Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel Frankenstein, and Ridley Scott’s film noir Blade Runner, which both present parallel themes of the exploration of humanity, man’s connection to the natural world, and the danger of uninhibited pursuits of knowledge. The epistolary form of Frankenstein, and the metanarratives within Blade Runner, allow audiences to balance perceptions and formulate ideas, ensuring that despite being written in different times, audiences can appreciate contrasting values, while simultaneously
As a consequence of time, the world continues to change technologically, socially, and scientifically. As do the common values and perspectives of man. Illustrations of this notion are exhibited through Mary Shelley’s novel, “Frankenstein” (1818) and Ridley Scott’s sci-fi film “Blade Runner” (1982) Both texts succeed in address contemporary issues at the time of their release such as what is humanity?, the consequences of assuming the role of God and the effects of scientific and technological advancement on society and nature . Both Shelley and Scott compose their works in a bid to warn people of the advancements at the time. This is done through provoking individuals to question and criticise the ethics and principles upheld in
Common thematic concerns that run throughout both texts include science, retribution and monstrosity. Scientific advancement is an ethical problem that has been conferred through literature over centuries, shown in Frankenstein, written by Shelley in 1818, and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner released
Consequently, the ethics of humanity is challenged through these creators in both texts as they express the contextual concerns such as post-industrialism and greed. Shelley exhibits both nature and nurture in “Frankenstein”. The importance of nature is illustrated through the use of imagery. Victor states - “These sublime and magnificent scenes afforded me the greatest consolation that I was capable of receiving.” His surroundings control his emotions. This point of view is formed by Shelley’s experience of Romantic Idealism and sublimity.
How has context affected the treatment of the concepts of nature and transgression in the texts under study? Although written almost two centuries apart, both Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Bladerunner by Ridley Scott are products of their respective times. Multiple parallels can be drawn between the two texts including the significance and transgression of the natural world and natural order, the questioning of the human condition and the nature of humanity. While both texts can be said to be a product of their time, by drawing on numerous aspects of their respective contexts, what makes them significant is their exploration into ideas that continue to be prevalent in the 21st century. Nature often holds revitalising and sublime qualities
Mary Shelley’s gothic novel ‘Frankenstein, and Ridley Scott’s noir film ‘Blade Runner’ explore similar issues in complete different settings. On the surface these texts seem vastly different because of the large gap in time setting but in hindsight the audience is able to recognize that despite the difference in context both texts present the same problems regarding changing values and ethics in society and the role of playing-God in the characters of Victor Frankenstein and Tyrell. One of the aspects that Mary Shelley’s novel ‘Frankenstein’ explores is the concept of hubris in the main character Victor Frankenstein; hubris can be defined as excessive pride, self-confidence and defiance towards God that ultimately leads to the demise of the individual. This is shown through
In what ways does a comparative study accentuate the distinctive contexts of Frankenstein and Blade Runner? According to genre theorist Jonathon Fiske, texts of a genre embody “the crucial ideological concerns of their time.” With reference to Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel Frankenstein and Ridley Scott’s neo-Gothic science fiction film Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut, a comparative study significantly emphasises the distinctive contexts of Shelley and Scott through examining the relationship between the cultural values which permeate their subtexts. Despite nearly two centuries between their publications the concerns regarding the uncertainty of man’s usurpation of divine power, science’s reckless destruction of nature, and its blurring of
Despite being written nearly two centuries apart, Scott’s Blade Runner contains many similar themes to that of Shelley’s Frankenstein. By examining each composer’s contextual concerns and values we can see that prophetic extrapolation highlights their fear of humanities ramification on our worldspace and personal identity. However, differing zeitgeists has altered these values and presented two fundamentally similar but thematically different texts. The worldspaces established by each composer reflects their values and concerns. Inspired by a retreat into the Swiss Alps, Shelley constructs her text in the setting of the nature-rich Geneva.