Texts in Time: Frankenstein and Blade Runner

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INTROUCTION Texts embody paradigms corresponding to their social, economic and historical contexts. The ability of concepts to transcend time is manifest within Mary Shelley’s 19th century gothic novel Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus (1818) and Ridley Scott’s futuristic audiovisual ‘film noir’ Blade Runner: Director’s Cut (1982). Frankenstein was written during the Romanticism period, with society being obsessed with the nature, emotions, human exploration and the rejection of the industrial world. In stark contrast, Ridley Scott sets the film within a hauntingly mechanized and non-natural future- the hellish world space of Los Angeles in the year 2019. Both Shelley’s and Scott’s texts highlight the moral and ethical issues regarding the pursuit of knowledge, the evolutionary relationship between man and technology and the concerns surrounding man attempting to play god. Our ideals and morals that differ in texts through context, scrupulously shape our image of humanity. MAN PLAYING GOD Frankenstein is a hybrid blend of gothic horror and science fiction, in comparison Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is a dystopian gothic film noir. Despite contextual differences, the texts target the hunger of man trying to play god. Each text highlights humanity’s flaws, such as ego, ambition, obsession with power and greed. The characters of Victor Frankenstein and Eldon Tyrell express these qualities as they are driven by the incredible thought to extend life and defy death. Using her authorial voice of intrusion, Shelly implies reasoning as to why man should not play god. In the novel, Victor Frankenstein fashions a creature out of ‘savaged’ body parts; a monster brought into a world in which he doesn’t belong; “Whence did I come? These questions continually recurred, but I was unable to solve them”. Victor Frankenstein is extremely displeased and disgusted with his own
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