Frankenstein/Blade Runner Relative Essay
While all texts originate from the creativity of their composer, they also explore and address the problems of their contexts. This is plainly the case with Mary Shelley’s gothic unique Frankenstein (1818) which draws upon galvanism and the commercial movement and Ridley Scott’s movie Blade Runner (1992) which has been heavily affected by Thatcherism and Reagonomics. In spite of there being over 150 years in between their structures both these texts check out a number of common styles such as humanity’s loss of humankind and guy trying to play God.
Through the exploration of these common thematic concerns and the universal representation of lead characters and societies obsessed with the Machiavellian pursuit of science and technology, these texts build on each other’s cautions to mankind and ultimately end up being connected through time. The common thematic concerns of these texts are explored through making use of cam angles, images and metaphors.
A main style shared by Frankenstein and Blade Runner is the threats of unrestrained clinical development, a theme most obvious when Frankenstein bestows the “spark of life” upon his animal in his effort to “pour a torrent of light into our dark world”. Here Shelley mentions the science of Galvanism which held the belief that bodies could be resurrected through an electrical current, or “trigger”. This compliments Shelley’s later allusion, “a thing such not even Dante might have developed” which mentions Dante Alighieri’s Divine Funny, a poem stating a male’s journey through hell.
These allusions work hand in hand to parallel unrestrained clinical advancements with discomfort and suffering equivalent to journeying through hell, in addition to interacting Shelley’s warning to the reader of the hellish implications that are unavoidable if male continues to explore science in such a negligent way. Blade Runner further implements the risks of unrestrained clinical progress and builds on Shelley’s caution through the opening scenic shot which portrays a decaying city dominated by commercial structures.
This works in conjunction with the repeating concept of synthetic neon lighting and spooky non-digetic noises to create a cold dark atmosphere which is symbolic of the absence of warmth, affection and household which has actually been created by unrestrained scientific development. This ironic representation of the Los Angeles, this city of angels, as a hell on earth is reflective of the 1986 Chernobyl Disaster where unrestrained clinical development straight result in death and sever mutation of countless people. Blade Runner and
Frankenstein likewise discuss humanity’s loss of humankind, a style Shelley depicts when the creature has the ability to display fundamental human impulses as it associates with “the enjoyable showers and genial heat” of nature as it endeavors through the wilderness. In contrast Victor reveals “insensibility to (natures) appeals” while developing the animal by including himself in a “deep dark deathlike privacy”, this alliteration is metaphoric of Victor’s inability to connect to nature and display standard human qualities which the expected sub-human animal can.
This comparison reveals that Victor, a symbol of humanity, has lost a standard human instinct which thought about inseparable from the human experience in Shelley’s age due to the impact of the romantics, yet the supposed sub-human possesses this instinct, metaphoric of mankind’s loss of humanity. Moreover, this contrast is symbolic of Shelley questioning the reader and challenging them to change their values as well as cautioning versus the Machiavellian pursuit of science and technology.
Scott strengthens humanity’s loss of humankind through the fulfillment of the Tyrell Corporations motto “more human than human” which can be seen in Pris wearing a bridal gown while concealing from Deckard, which is metaphoric of the replicants ability to feel emotions of love and familial belonging, a standard human impulse which the human beings of this world are unable to feel, evidenced in J. F Sebastian’s ironic discussion “I make buddies, they’re toys, my friends are toys”.
Sebastian’s dialogue reveals that humans no longer have genuine households and have actually lost the capability to develop relationships; where as Roy’s groan of discomfort at the death of Pris is symbolic of the familial bonds and relationships formed between replicants. Not just does this contrast establish the Tyrell Corporation’s slogan “more human than human” as a truism but it is symbolic of Scott building upon Shelley’s initial depiction mankind’s loss of mankind and reinforcing her warning versus the Machiavellian pursuit of science and innovation, linking these texts through time.
Additionally, Frankenstein and Blade Runner check out the style of guy attempting to play God which is evoked through allusions to the Promethean myth, as both texts present protagonists who take the present of the Gods, in this case life, and are seriously penalized for doing so. Shelley proofs this style through Victor stealing the Gods present of life, alluding to Prometheus taking the Gods present of fire, epitomised in Victors dialogue “A new species would bless me as its creator”. Although heavily affected by onservative views of the church Shelley present’s death of Frankenstein, a sign of humankind, at the hands of his own production which not just alludes to Zeus’ penalty of Prometheus but is metaphoric of Shelley’s caution of the inescapable danger which waits for mankind if he continues to try to play God. Greatly affected by a growing corporate culture which neglected human rights in the pursuit of “commerce”, Scott likewise stimulates the Promethean misconception to illuminate the theme of male attempting to play God.
Like Frankenstein, Tyrell steals the Gods present of life by producing “more human than people” replicants, a direct allusion to Prometheus taking the Gods fire. Scott continues to mention the Promethean misconception through Tyrell’s death at the hands of Roy, his production. Here Scott not only mentions Zeus’ punishment of Prometheus but also to the bible by Tyrell claiming Roy to be the “lost lamb” further implementing the principle of man attempting to play God.
Additionally, the murder of Tyrell by his creation, Roy, mentions Frankenstein’s death at the hands of his production, the animal, which is metaphoric of Scott structure upon Shelley’s warning against guy trying to play God, more connecting these texts through time. Upon close analysis of these texts it emerges that Scott’s Blade Runner is a reaction to Shelley’s Frankenstein, explained through the expedition of common themes such as mankind’s loss of humanity, despite being manifestations of contexts separated by 150 years.
Scott’s tech noir film encapsulates Shelley’s initial warning versus the Machiavellian pursuit of science and technology and takes into to the next level by providing it in a post contemporary context where science and technology have actually advanced beyond the point of return. Perhaps the conclusive underlying message of these texts is that in spite of the important things we develop being a reflection of ourselves and our societies, it is ultimately our creations that mould us and who we are, a concept assumed in Winston Churchill’s words “we shape the things we develop, afterwards they form us”. 1139 words