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Genetic Perfection in Gattaca

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Genetic Perfection in Gattaca

Topic: "The world of Gattaca is focused on genetic perfection, yet it is the imperfect Vincent that achieves the most"

Set within a world governed by genetic engineering, Andrew Niccol's film, Gattaca, portrays the dire consequences of such a society in "the not too distant future". Given a pre-determined life as a "god child" due of his parent's adherence to religious beliefs, Vincent Freeman is an individual who "refuses to play the hand he was dealt". Vincent although seemingly cursed with an imperfect genetic composition manages to overcome considerable odds in order to achieve his dream of space travel.

From the moment that Vincent was conceived, he was born into a world where ridiculous restrictions were already placed upon him that prohibited him from pursuing after his goals. Antonio, Vincent's father was aware from the exact instant that his "In-Valid" son was born that he did not have the necessary genetic traits, thus he deemed Vincent not worthy enough to bestow upon his own name. Throughout his childhood Vincent was constantly subjected to prejudicial ridicule from the so called superior "Valid" caste. Incidents such as the symbolic shutting of the metal gate in Vincent's face as he was denied entry to a kinder garden due to the fact that "insurance wouldn't cover" his apparently inferior status. Vincent was also subjected to taunting by his smug "Valid" brother Anton especially during their "favourite game" chicken. Chicken was an exhausting swimming race in which the two brothers would swim frantically "out towards the horizon" to see who would "chicken" out and swim back first. With constant taunts such as "come on you coward" it is quite commendable that Vincent re...

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...distant future". He is disadvantaged because of his parents' adherence to strong religious beliefs which leave his conception vulnerable to the vagaries of random genetics. Consequently, in a society where genetic engineering is increasingly normal rather than an exception, it appears that Vincent will always live in the shadow of genetically superior beings. As he mixes with members of the "Valid" world despite his own "In-Valid" condition, he manages to gain considerable respect and admiration because of his persistence, even from people unaware of his status as a genetic impostor. Although Vincent is at the lower end of the genetic hierarchy, it is due to his ferocious determination and unquenchable desire that he is able to rise above his colleagues and achieve his dreams. It is these qualities that deem Niccol's central protagonist unique in the world of Gattaca.

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