Bladerunner/Frankenstein Essay

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Assessment Task

Question: Texts reflect the changing values and perspectives of their times.

How true is this shown to be in the texts you have studied? In your answer make detailed reference to both texts.

Composed over a century and a half apart, Mary Shelley’s Romantic/Gothic novel Frankenstein and Ridley Scott’s postmodernist film Bladerunner, both explore different values and perspectives of Transgressing nature’s laws, and playing God, and the role of nature in society. Composed in the late 20th century, Scott is heavily influenced by the Post modern sensibility, scientific research, mainly cloning, and loss of confidence in the traditional world view. In Shelley’s early 19th Century context, she is heavily influenced by Romantic sensibility, also, early scientific research, political and social revolution, and belief in the power of an individual. Through both narrative and filmic devices, both texts explore how values and perspectives change heavily due to the time they are living in.

First published in 1816, Shelley’s novel explores a protagonist as he attempts to play God, in transgressing nature’s laws by creating “human” life. With modern science thriving in the early 19th century, Shelly was highly influenced by 2 scientists. Mary owned a copy of Humphrey Davy’s celebrated science lecture. In it he stated “it (science) has bestowed on the human scientist that which may almost be called creative; which have enabled him to modify and change the beings surrounding him”. Mary also modelled aspects of her book on Galvanism, created by Galvani; it was a theory to reanimate human corpses through electrical currents. Shelley utilises the Chinese box structure to recount the hubristic scientist, Victors, early days at the University of Ingolstadt and his encounter with Professor Waldman. IN his opening lecture Waldman espouses the power of the modern scientist declaring, “tey have acquired new and almost unlimited powers.” Using emotionally...
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