Human Nature In Frankenstein

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In order to properly determine whether or not characters or parties in multiple works are “Human”, it is first necessary to attempt to define what it is to be “Human”. Humanity, or being human can be interpreted as many things, such as possessing empathy, like in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, or a characteristic found in the genes, as Oryx and Crake implies. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein suggests a more absolute definition, one where any deviation from the natural process of birth creates a being that is referred to as “monster” and “devil” - “human” is out of the question.(Shelley, 68) I argue, however, that humanity is best characterized by not what traits it has, but what traits it does not. Humanity, as a whole, is not immortal, it is not omnipotent or omniscient, and it cannot create life - certainly not sentience. Humanity could be described as a struggle toward obtaining these traits, in other words, being human separates us from animals in that we struggle to be greater than we are, whereas animals are content to simply survive. What happens when a human crosses this threshold, completes its struggle? Frankenstein, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and Oryx and Crake all deal with this concept, and come to the same conclusion. When the struggle leads a human to create another with humanity by means other than reproduction, the creator and creature cannot coexist. Even though Shelley’s creature can speak, read, and feel, he is blindly treated as a wild animal and is only met with fear and violence. The creature, which physically and mentally appears to be human or close to it, does not at any point want more than to be accepted by someone. When this fails, he lowers his expectations, and demands Victor to create ... ... middle of paper ... ...to be greater than they are. Yet every android that comes to Earth is killed, for no real reason other than they do not belong there, in the same place as the Rosen Corp, where they are made. In every work, the creature or creator or both die in the end. Even in Blade Runner, the motion picture based off of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the androids successfully kill the man who designed them, and then die themselves. (Ridley) The works follow a formula, one set by the common Judeo-Christian creation story, the Book of Genesis. After eating from the tree of knowledge, and therefor becoming fully human, Adam and Eve are sent out of their creator’s domain, like Shelley’s creature wanted, and the androids and Crakers received, a land where they can comfortably exist away from their creators, much like a child leaving the care of its parents to live on their own.
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