Identity is based on the individual characteristics by which a thing or person is recognised or known, and is impacted by various factors including human connections and the environment. A disruption of these stable elements ultimately fuels the loss of identity. Mary Shelly’s Romantic novel Frankenstein (1818) and Ridley Scott’s science fiction film Blade Runner (1992) demonstrate how a more profound and sophisticated understanding of disruption and identity arises from the consideration of the parallels between the two texts. Though Frankenstein and Blade Runner differ in context, they draw on similar philosophical and societal values of their time to simultaneously extrapolate the twofold themes of The Human Experience; what it means to be human, and the dangers of disrupting the natural order through technological advancements. Thus the linking premise is that dehumanisation or a loss of identity results once nature has been disrupted, and humanity becomes subservient to technology and scientific advancement.
The Gothic genre allows the purpose to reach the audience. In Chapter two, Victor meets his creation in the presence of nature, contrasting the scientifically created monster. The sublime gothic technique emphasises the power of nature to adjust Victor's mood, giving perspective of its relative importance. The novel's epistolary structure, as an example of realism, contains the personal accounts of Frankenstein and his monster. Their downfall due to technology gives credibility to the warning.
She depicts nature as a place for both Victor and The monster to be solace and let their emotions be confessed. Romanticism plays a large role in the significance of nature in Frankenstein, as the Romantics placed great importance on nature by viewing it as the domain of the spiritual. This differs with
However, the values remain consistent and thus via the respective forms of the text, composers explore issues relating to humanity and unchecked science. Within each text, the composers similarly explore how when scientific endeavour is pursued without a moral frame, the consequences for creator and created, and furthermore humanity, are devastating. The impact on mankind is reflected as Victor Frankenstein brings his monster into existence. This is evident through the use of high modality as he says ‘a new species would bless me as its creator’ and ‘natures would owe their being to me’. Victor’s distant and cold language reveals his overwhelming hubris and reflects the conflation of scientific and Romantic paradigms.
The texts use a variety of literary and cinematic techniques to offer a fresh perspective on the implications of scientific disregard. The dangerous connection science has , and how we can affect that fragile link, shapes who we are, since nature is a core part of a human’s identity. There must be symmetry between science and nature and when nature is thrown out of balance, destruction follows until brought back into line. Shelley uses her text to influence her society, bringing to light that they must not take their environment for granted, due to the advances in polluting industries at the time . We see this emphasis on nature when Victor ascends the mountain ‘and the solemn silence of this glorious presence-chamber of imperial Nature was broken only by the brawling waves’ the use of descriptive imagery and alliteration shows how nature is sublime to humans, which ties in with the romanticism of the text.
Shelley’s use of Galvanism and Genesis, with the support of biblical allusion to criticise humanity’s disregard for nature during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century is used to exemplify the detrimental consequences of science on individuals. The struggles face by the Creature in an attempt to live peacefully, supported by the Creature stating: ‘You gave me life…but left me to die’, emphasises on Victor’s lack of responsibility for his own actions, the repetition of first person narration ‘I’ and ‘me’ and the use of oxymoron capture the responders’ sympathy and leads to the conclusion that the Creature is possibly more human than Victor. The Creature also struggles to gain companionship from his creator and other individuals due to his grotesque physical appearance: ‘When I became fully convinced that I am the monster that I am’, this is supported by his statement: ‘My heart yearns to be known…’, the use of personification emphasise on the Creature’s desire to be ‘loved’ by
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. Mary Shelley’s seminal novel, Frankenstein 1818, is a moral fable combining conflicting paradigms of Romantic idealism and Enlightenment rationalism. Shelley delves into these ideologies in a classic gothic horror story that presents the unequivocal issues concerning the ethics and consequences of the pursuit of knowledge and scientific experimentation. Influenced by the increasing popularity of galvanism, Shelley effectively illustrates her apprehensions through the character development of Victor Frankenstein and his juxtaposition against nature. Victor admits his deep desire for ‘immortally and power’ through ‘penetrating the secrets of nature’, which is manifested in his technological innovation of the creature, highlighting the extreme yet realistic potential for technology to create human life.
Her warning of the dangers of such actions is encapsulated within Victor’s concerning words of “how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge”, whilst Shelley’s use of a fragmented epistolatory narrative adds a disturbing sense of truth and realism, foreshadowing the dark consequences of Frankenstein’s actions. Shelley’s warning is evident throughout the novel which ultimately reflects her context through the concern of scientists within her era exploiting the advancements in science. It also reinforces the dangers of our humanity’s inherent yearning to play the role of the Creator. Such a warning also exists within Scott’s “Blade Runner” where the director echoes the rise of capitalist principles through the symbolic dominance of Tyrell’s towering dwelling, a reflection of both his desire for omnipotence and commercial power. Scott’s warning of the dangers of
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.
The Obligation to Endure Rachel Carson challenges the progress that this world has taken and questions if it is truly progress at all. We as humans endanger and harm ourselves in ways that we are often unaware of. Carson persuades her audience, the progressive intellectuals, in her book, “Silent Spring”, that the use of chemicals is causing destruction and should be put to an end. She concentrates her ideas in the chapter “The Obligation to Endure”, where she goes against the horrible consequences of chemical use on pests. She elaborates on the issue of spraying chemicals and if it is increasing or decreasing the progress in the world.