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Frankenstein: Context
By examining Shelley’s historical context we can see many of the key concerns of her time reflected inFrankenstein. Written during a time of great change and upheaval in Europe, it functions as a social commentary on the realities of the author’s context. * Post-Enlightenment – Involved questioning of religion and the state. Promotion of science, knowledge and reason in the pursuit of inevitable progress, over superstition and religious dogma. * Rise of Romanticism – Rejection of science and rationalism, embraced a return to the sublimity of untamed nature and emotional/aesthetic/personal experiences. Mary eloped with Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. * Midst of the Industrial Revolution – A period of technological advancement where the manual labour based economy was replaced by one where the machine increased production > workers were devalued. Shift from rural to urban – growing numbers left the countryside to find work in city factories leading to growth of slums and poverty. Karl Marx later suggested (1844) that this resulted in the alienation of man from the means of production and thus from his alienation from his essential human nature. * Post French revolution / War of American Independence – The traditional monarchy was overthrown and replaced with the values of democracy and equality. New industrial middle class; bourgeoisie, threatened once secure aristocracy and strict social hierarchy. Shelley’s father was William Godwin, the foremost English writer on the French revolution. * Feminism – Shelley’s mother was Mary Wollstonecraft, author of the feminist work Vindication of the Rights of Women. Her parents encouraged her in intellectual/literary pursuits- unusual for a woman at the time.

Blade Runner: Context
Scott grew up in the grim depressing industrial landscape of north-east England before moving to America. The 1980s were a time when many Americans feared there country was in a great decline. *...
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