Blade Runner and Frankenstein

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Although perspectives and values change with time, ideas and concepts can transcend. The gothic novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and the science fiction film Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott although composed over one hundred years apart contain the same perennial concepts on the nature of humanity. This is portrayed through notions of dehumanization, monstrosity and redemption, of the “indistinguishable” creator and creature relationship. The romanticist Shelly wrote her gothic novel the enlightenment era which posed questions concerning the mystery of life and nature of humanity. Scott on the other hand composed in the post-industrial age, where technology and morality played a dominant role in society. The composers explore their contextual values while upholding transcendent concepts of humanity incorporating morality and creation though unique techniques in accordance to their text type.

Both Frankenstein and Blade Runner, although established within different contexts, communicate the universal notion that knowledge, beyond the morally conventional limits of society, initiates the human desire to understand and manipulate the natural world. Shelley’s novel, influenced by romantic writers such as Coleridge and Percy Shelley, sees her examine and hyperbolize the obsessive passion of the scientists of her day. Thus, her archetypal scientist, Victor, is characterized as overly passionate and ambitious.  Shelley achieves this romantic characterized passion, through the use of repetition and emotive language in regard to his science; such as “ardent,” “eager” and “passionate enthusiasm. Victor’s story is an adaption of the Promethean myth of fire stolen from the gods. The usurption of the roles of God is used by Shelley as a parody of mankind’s attempt to become the ‘over reacher’ through the Romantic paradigm of “perfectibility.” Thus the responder is able to comprehend Shelley’s philosophical questioning of the purpose in experimenting with the...
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