A Comparison of the Monsters of Frankenstein, Bladerunner, and Star Trek The Next Generation

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In the long history of the existence of fantasy literature, writers represent monsters as something opposite to the human being. The prior conflict of this genre is usually "man Vs monster." Several examples of science fiction seemingly portray antagonistic creatures yet they are depicted as being similar to humanity: the replicants in the film Bladerunner; the monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; and the Borg in Star Trek. In each of these examples, the aforementioned "monster(s)" posses human-like characteristics (some, like the replicants in Bladerunner appear almost exactly human) yet are still "monsters," they are not quite human. Thus each of the human societies shuns and despises these creatures for what they are. The significance of the alignment of the monsters with ourselves is how the monsters are the personification of our ontology. The unconscious human mind is the content of what these works attempt to personify in the monster. As Donna Haraway said in her "Cyborg Manifesto," "we are all chimeras." The curious thing is that the protagonists in some of the works actually portray monster-like characteristics--a role reversal between the monster and the hero of the work: "We have found the enemy and he is us." The analogy of the monsters is actually depicted in each of the work's respective humans' thoughts and deeds. This also shows the authors' portrayal of the monster-like and thus human-like characteristics of the human unconscious and the conscious mind.

The role-reversal of an antagonistic monster and the human hero is never more blatant than in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. In modern pop culture, the name of Frankenstein is often associated with the monster of the novel. Unkn...

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...w much do our genes control how we will live our lives? Our dependence on machines is one popular theme in science fiction including Star Trek. The Borg are cyborgs--completely dependent on their mechanical components to survive. In modern society, how much do we depend on machines to survive? The Borg reflects several aspects of our own human society and human self.

Donna Haraway says, "The cyborg is our ontology...The machine is us." Frankenstein's monster, the replicants, and Star Trek's Borg each is analogous to the monster within a subconscious or unrealized level within modern reality. The unconscious needs of modern technology, the uncertain amount of genetic programming within us, and the unknown about the human's unconscious mind are all objectives explored in the allegorical genre of science fiction as we explore the monster within.

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