English Advanced: Assessment Task 3
Comparative Study of Texts and Contexts: Frankenstein and Blade Runner William Meadley
Dear Mr. Ridley Scott,
I Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelly am writing to you after viewing ‘Blade Runner’. I became aware that your composition and my own, ‘Frankenstein’ 1818 are very similar in themes and ideas. I also noticed similarities between characters of both our compositions, which together evoke questioning within our audience. We, as artists feel strongly about many issues affecting our world. Issues such as industrialisation, advancing technology and science mixed with the morale argument of the extent we should pursue, especially into natural roles, if it is our role to do so. The role of humanity as an increasingly exploiting race and humanities exploitation of each other, with exampling of the impact of colonisation and expanding of empires and Corporate Capitalism. Above all I noticed that our creations are similar in that they are both cautionary tales, created to inspire thought within this world, though about these issues we seem to both feel very strongly. I myself am very disturbed that the problems affecting my world and humanity in my world in the 19th Century seem to have not changed within the one hundred and sixty four years between our two works. Humanity as a whole needs to understand the implications and responsibilities that come with the power of knowledge and the influencing role they hold within the world. The acquisition of scientific knowledge and its possible devastating effects is a major theme within ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Blade Runner’. It is clear that the God-like power yielded from this pursuit of knowledge is entirely detrimental. Questions of morality, ethics and humanity occur. After reading Meditations, Sir Francis Bacon’s aphorism; “Knowledge is power” rings true with me. However John Dalberg Acton made the statement that “Power tends to corrupt”, which also holds truth. The idea that knowledge is power and power corrupts is evident within our two works, and ties in with the Promethean Myth. In both texts humanity succeed in stealing the natural powers of the gods, with devastating affects. I’m sure you can see the scintillating parallels between my Victor and the Greek titan. Prometheus successfully steals fire from the gods, however when discovered is punished severely. This is the reason that I gave the secondary name to my novel “The Modern Prometheus”. Knowledge is a powerful and dangerous device; the individual holding the power must be responsible with it. With this theme as a major role in my novel, it is influenced by central events occurring during the 19th Century. Composed in the rise of Romanticism, it contains many of the structures of a romantic novel. Being created in 1818, during the centre of the industrial revolution and the sudden explosion of advances in science. The discovery of electricity inspired research into whether electricity could reanimate life. I was inspired after reading the theses of Luigi Galvani, which address his experimentation with creating movement in lifeless bodies with use of electricity. This chase for new knowledge and advances in the scientific and industrial spheres lead me to question science’s role in nature and whether it is morally correct to pursue science beyond the boundaries of humanity, to take knowledge from Gods hands and use it for our own. With all of this in mind I created my novel and with it the characters Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein and the creature, whom all share similarities with each other. One obvious characteristic they hold is an obsessive and ardent thirst for knowledge and experience. Although for different reasons, this thirst for knowledge and understanding results in devastating affects on the characters Frankenstein and the creature. In my Frankenstein, knowledge is initially portrayed as being double edged with benefits and hazards through the first person account of...
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