Comparison of Blade Runner and Frankenstein

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  • Topic: Blade Runner, Human, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
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Comparison of Blade Runner and Frankenstein
Comparative Literature 
When looking at two or more forms of narratives we need to establish the similarities and differences in a number of areas. All literature has much in common, yet it may differ in outward forms depending on when it was written and the text type or genre used to create meaning.  Areas of comparison include:

 Context and Background – How do Historical and biographical situations influence the text. Style: how the composer shapes the text or expresses their message. Theme, values, issues or concerns that may have relevance to us or have universal implications. 

Techniques; these will vary according to text types and the author’s style. Language or linguistic features; how the meaning is conveyed. Evaluation: We are all, especially examiners interested in your opinions; how you related and responded to the text. It is important to be honest and yet to support all your assertions and judgments with supporting evidence.    

Comparison of Blade Runner and Frankenstein
Blade Runner1 is a Ridley Scott adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?As a dystopia (dark future) it uses the glazed cinematic techniques of film noir that tends to distance us from the characters and actions.  More @ Cinematic Techniques:   | This is a Gothic Novel.Mary claims the inspiration for her story came from a vision she had during a dream.  Her story was the only one completed and has become one of the most famous Gothic novels of all time.Mary Shelley uses the narrative device of a Ship’s Captain retelling a tale through epistemology (letters to his sister) he has heard from an obsessed distraught Scientist he has rescued from an ice floe in the remote Arctic Ocean.| Context

Blade Runner has a strong environmental focus.  It was only after the publication of Rachel Carson’s (An American writer and scientist) Silent Spring, (1961) that people began to recognise the potential of human disaster through the vandalism perpetrated by improved technology. Rather than resilient, nature was fragile and vulnerable when fundamental natural rhythms were ceaselessly destroyed by ruthless exploitation by ever increasing mammoth technology.  If Ecosystems are repeatedly defeated, human life will be diminished and likely extinguished.The bleak vision portrayed illustrates a chaotic nuclear holocaust, ecological fragility through soil depletion and acid rain.In BR. man has not only subdued the earth but conquered and utterly defeated it. As a Canadian Indian Chief queried; “When we kill the last fish, what will we eat – money?The sixties and seventies were times of great social, cultural and historical changes with changes in attitudes in s*xual relations, racial integration and political upheaval.| As Europe moved away from a world dominated by superstition and religious faith to one of empirical scientific research and logical deductive reasoning, the Romantics helped to retain some of the personal and emotional compassion that makes us fully human.The swing towards a more humanistic attitude towards fellow mankind and the reverence for the natural over the man made is clearly depicted in Frankenstein.  Shelley questions the eighteenth-century scientific rationalists' optimism about, and trust in, knowledge as a pure good.  While the Philosophers believed in the perfectibility of man through reason, the Romantics put their faith in the ‘immortal spirit’ of the individual’s emotions.The Romantics maintained suspicions about the dark inscrutable workmanship of the Scientific and empirical attempts to improve on nature.Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow. (101)|

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