Blade Runner and Frankenstein Essay

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Changes in context and form offer fresh perspectives on the values in texts. -------------------------------------------------
How does Scott’s film, BR, reveal a new response to the values explored in Shelley’s novel, F?

Whilst texts may be fictitious constructs of composer’s imaginations, they also explore and address the values, societal concerns and paradigms of their eras. This is clearly evident in Mary Shelley’s prose fiction, Frankenstein (F) (1818) a hybridised text combining elements of Romantic, Gothic and Science fiction conventions and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (BR) (1982) a post-modern film noir. Shelley interrogated the Promethean character of human potentiality with an ambivalent spirit of celebration and apprehension in a world which had not yet had to deal on a mass scale with the effects of industrialisation and mass consumerism. Shelley presents us with a creator whose obsession is to master Nature and the creative process clouds his judgment regarding the need for parental and ethical responsibility. Scott goes further and presents us with a creator who is solely devoid of any sense of moral obligation towards his creations. Natural law is highly valued in F due to the romantic period it derived from. In BR natural law is abolished and instead contains extreme artifice and over materialism.

While deeply conscious of F, BR evokes the earlier text not with the intention of adapting it but rather re-engaging with the values it raises in a new and altered cultural context. Mary Shelley grew up at a time when nature was being advocated by the romantics, there was a consciousness of the greatness of nature against the smallness of man. Shelley feared the increase in social justices and negative impact on family life as a result of the industrial revolution. Scott used the industrial revolution to his advantage by creating a world...
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