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A Comparison Of The Blade Runner And Mary Shelley's Frankenstein And Blade Runner

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Frankenstein and Blade Runner
The characterisation of characters in texts are a reflection of the composers societal values and zeitgest of their time. The comparison of Mary Shelley’s 1818 gothic novel Frankenstein and Ridley Scott’s 1992 science fiction film Blade Runner accentuate the mutable societal values and human identity. In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley challenges aspects of the Enlightenment era seeking knowledge, scientism and rationalism. Ridley Scott explores in Blade Runner the effects of corporatism and industrialisation. Although the texts show a difference in societal values, both explore similar aspects of humanity to show that human nature is perpetual regardless of context.
In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley scrutinizes the Enlightenment era’s pursuit for progress and knowledge as it is seen as morally chaotic for overstepping the natural order idealised by the Romantics. Victor F’Stein’s amibition to overpower the boundaries of nature by attempting to take up God’s role as the creator is enunciated in the metaphor “many excellent natures should owe their being to me”. Victor’s hubris and ambition reflects aspects of the Enlightenment – Shelley criticises the attempts of the age to control and empower natural processes, embodied in Galvani’s experimentation with animal electricity. Victor F’Stein represents humanity’s hubristic ambitions and fondness of knowledge. Shelley uses intertextual reference by characterising F’Stein as the “Modern Day Prometheus”. In Greek Mythology, Prometheus usurped the natural order by the creation of man. Prometheus was punished for for this crime eternally – an eagle eating from his liver; the implications are that nature is having its revenge for upsetting hierarchal order. However, Vi...

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...ndaries, overpower nature and therefore control society, will result in adverse affects. Both creators, ultimately lost control of their creations; representing their loss of power and both creators attempting to play God faced death from their creations. Human nature embodies rationality and passion and also undeniably, the lust for power and control. Humans and “artificial” humans are seen to convey these elements. However, challenging the heirarchy will only lead to corruption and destruction of the individual and society.
Despite the changes in time and therefore, societal values, both Frankenstein and Blade Runner suggests that humanity’s pursuit for power and progress results in moral and ethical trepidations. Consequently, the comparison of these two texts expose the imperfections of human nature that will always remain perpetual regardless of context.
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