Blade Runner Response

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"What is the nature of humanity? When does a replicant stop being just a replicant, and become life?"

In Blade Runner, the director Ridley Scott uses the dilemma of Deckard as a replicant to express the idea that human identity may be found in biotechnology. Deckard believes himself to be a human and, in fact, never questions his cold and impersonal behavior which is similar to how much of humanity behaves in the year 2019. Although replicants, recognized by their inability to show emotion, were developed as servants to humans, assisting in human’s menial tasks and unsafe jobs, they soon begin to display evidence of specific human traits. Scott demonstrates through various examples of Deckard’s behavior that the main attributes of being human is showing passions and emotions such as empathy, hate, love, compassion and even anger. By revealing Deckard as a replicant, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner suggests that to find what it really means to be alive, one must consider the possibility that humanity may exist in biotechnology.

When Deckard informs Rachael that she is a replicant, explaining that her photos are not real, only implanted memories, his reaction to her tears effectively demonstrate his honest emotional response. He tries to make her feel better by saying, “Ok, bad joke. I made a bad joke. You’re not a replicant. No, really. I’m sorry.” This display of empathy, that not even some of the true humans of Deckard’s time could accomplish, vividly demonstrates the nature of humanity. As a replicant, Deckard is supposed to be a genetically engineered being devoid of humanity and, yet, in this scene, Deckard begins to care about another person. His desire to console Rachael expands the concept of acceptable replicant behavior. With this simple display of emotion, Deckard, as a replicant, is perceived as becoming more human.

By recognizing beauty in Rachael, Deckard’s humanity is further validated. As Deckard’s feelings towards Rachael develop,...
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