Blade Runner and Brave New World: A Comparison

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Considering the whole span of earthly time…only within the briefest moments has one species – man – acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world. This power has now increased to one of disturbing magnitude.” (Rachael Carson)

An essay exploring above quotation and way in which humans interact with natural world, with reference to

Man’s relationship with nature has forever been a focal point of human concern. Though fifty years apart contextually, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Ridley Scott’s film Bladerunner (Director’s Cut), both canvass the horrible consequences of man’s sunderance from nature. While AF632 is a world where nature has been actively sacrificed for social stability, nature’s ostracism in LA 2019 is a side effect in man’s pursuit of economic progress. Both texts analyse the contextual concerns of each composer, raising questions about man’s place and interaction with ‘the wild’.

‘The wild’ can be seen in one way as an entity to which the human is inextricably linked; our physical world. By delineating the contrary, Scott demonstrates the importance of this connection by portraying a world – a dystopia - lacking nature. The 1980’s were seen as an era of “greed is good”, of Asian Tiger economies, the American recession and the reality of globalisation beginning to impact the world. Bladerunner becomes a devaluing look at the effects of these trans-national companies; LA 2019 is an inverted Eden, the apocalyptic opening montage distorting city lights into solar simulacra. The streets are a melange of cultures as peoples soak in the unrelenting acid rain. High angle shots accentuate technology’s power, chiaroscuro lighting, through high contrast portrays nature’s decay due to globalisation, which “ironically makes the world a worse place for humans to live in”: nature, here, is an absence. Conversely, in AF632, nature is seen as a threat to the ironic motto “Community. Identity. Stability”. Huxley’s concerns of...
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