Context/Characterization of Frankenstein & Blade Runner

Topics: Blade Runner, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein Pages: 5 (1048 words) Published: March 2, 2011
CONTEXT: Frankenstein
Biographical Context: Mary Shelley
* Parents renowned for their writing – intellectual philosophers of their day. * Mother was a feminist who argued against gender inequity * Father was known largely for his writings on the French revolution * Both experienced unhappy affairs

* Shelley studied & published work of both her parents from a young age * Her literary background/parental influence encouraged her to act outside social expectations, ahead of her times, non-conservative & challenges prevailing social conservationism Literary Context

* Wrote during Romantic era.
* References to ‘Paradise Lost’ lead to questions about the nature of identity * Typical conventions & styles of Gothic literature popular at the time * Idea of Frankenstein from a holiday in Switzerland 1816 with Lord Byron and Claire Clairmont * Idea of monster rose from a terrifying nightmare

* Ideas produced when peak of creativity and exploration of their identity and values Enlightenment Era: 16th – 17th C
* Education released the best virtues of humanity
* Individuality was shaped by productivity, reason, philosophy and science * Application of reason to the understanding of humanity and society * An extension of science & mathematics eg. Newton: Gravitation/Laws of Motion * Revolutionary views of humanity, society, politics

Romanticism: 18th – 19th C
* Revolutionised the conventional theory, a focus & style of poetry * Shunned the world of cold logic, favoured imagination to gain access to our deeper senses or soul * Direct rebellion against Enlightenment

* Nature was a main source of inspiration
* A medium of visionary knowledge
* Has explicit religious message that replaces traditional religion

Gothic: 18th C
* Developed in response to main directions in culture and civilisation * Concern of the Enlightenment was accompanied by a new direction towards feeling, intensity, melancholy, wilderness, ruin and a new sense of sublime * Sinister & derelict settings, supernatural, stories of mystery, blood & gore. Novel has bloody murders, graveyards and charnel house * Revenge is a common theme

* Doppelganger: Victor and the Creature
* Explores darker side of humanity
binary opposites: love/hate, justice/injustice, man/monster, villain/hero Science & Inventions: The Revolution
* Galvanism: Galvani discovered that muscle and nerve cells produce electricity (phenomenon was dubbed) * Volta: physicist developed first battery, proved electricity could travel through wires * Growing interest in natural science, experiments electricity and alchemy * Start of Industrial Revolution ( new inventions, tools, machinery) * Expansion to exploration and discovery (quest for knowledge and adventure

CONTEXT: Blade Runner
* Based on P.Dick’s novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep?’ 1969 what separated man from machines?
VN War: The moral issues it raised as soldiers were brutalised and desensitised after the killing. * Pessimistic view of future world explain by the dramatic changes the world was undergoing in the 80’s * Scott’s world is of a natural world devastated by technology, population explosions, pollution and consumerism. * Natural world is non-existent, the wealthy can buy it or flee. * Make dominated business rules the world, people struggled to survive. The 80’s

* Global Warming was discovered
* Deforestation was a key issue
* Gap beChtween rich & poor increased rapidly
* Growth of multi-national corporations promoting consumerism * Technology began to invade people’s lives
* PC’S in households in first world countries
* Scott’s vision is an extension of this world

CHARACTERS: Frankenstein
Creator: Victor Frankenstein
* Narrator throughout most the story
* A gothic figure, disillusioned
* Desire...
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