Frankenstein and Blade Runner

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How does a comparative study of Frankenstein and Blade Runner bring to the fore ideas about the consequences of the desire for control? Both ‘Frankenstein’ By Mary Shelley (1818) and ‘Blade Runner’ composed by Ridley Scott (1992) express the concerns of the dire consequences that come as a result of the need for control. These texts were heavily influenced by the rapid growth of technology although reflecting different eras. They highlight the dangers of excessive ambition and the threats to the natural world from different perspectives. Both Mary Shelley and Ridley Scott warn of the negative impacts that can come of the need for excessive ambition and control. Shelley composed ‘Frankenstein’ at the time of the Industrial Revolution, witnessing the growth of technology. Through the novel Shelley demonstrates the consequences of personal glory and fame explored through the parallel characters of Walton and Victor. who are blinded by their dreams of glory. Walton’s quest for fame on his expedition to the North Pole threatens the lives of those in his crew. Similarly, Victor whose obsessive desire to challenge the laws of nature through the creation of another life leads to a life of disaster and depression. The consequences of excessive ambition is expressed through Victor’s advice to Walton: “Learn from me, if not by my precepts at least by my example, how dangerous the acquirement of knowledge.” Although it is clear that Victor did not learn from these mistakes in his message to the crew: “Do not return to your families with the stigma of disgrace on your brows. Return as heroes who have fought and conquered, and who do not know what it is to turn their backs on the foe” Victor never learnt to walk away from the ambition no matter what consequences were to come. Shelley presents the men, striving for purely selfish goals which are inherently flawed and ultimately doomed. This clearly reflected the influence of the writings of Rousseau and her father Godwin who...
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