Frankenstein vs. Bladerunner: Texts in Time

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Essay – Keiralee – Mod A Power and responsibility are codependent concepts, where responsibility is always evident when discussing the concept of power. This perception of power and responsibility is derived from the analysis of Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein (1818) and Ridley Scott’s science fiction film Blade Runner (1982). By discussing nature’s sublimity, social hierarchy and society’s socialisation, we see how social responsibility is the core of any issue humanity faces. Frankenstein is the story of a man on a pursuit to create life, succeeding with dire consequences. Through this, Mary Shelley illustrates different forms of power as an unchecked capability of society, and expresses their dangers to humanity. In understanding her context, we see Shelley’s intention to compose a didactic message regarding the limitless ability of nature and man, and the threats it poses to humanity. Blade Runner, created almost two centuries later, was composed under vastly different circumstances, yet still voices the same concerns. Through its discussion, we see how Ridley Scott evolves from Shelley’s ideas to present a speculative, dystopian film where humanity has failed to adhere to Shelley’s message, and warns of the consequences when the power she describes is not used responsibly. One of the most dominant concerns shared between Frankenstein and Blade Runner is humanity’s defiance and disrespect to nature and the environment. Shelley emphasizes nature’s power to create and nurture life, warning against defying the limits it sets for humanity. Scott explores the consequences of this. Frankenstein was composed during the rise in Romanticism, embracing the sublimity of nature and rejecting scientific development and rationalism. Shelley employs purple prose throughout the novel to emphasise nature’s significance and demonstrate the Romantic notion of

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