Frankenstein and Blade Runner

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Analyse how Frankenstein and Blade Runner imaginatively portray individuals who challenge the established values of their time. Texts provide us with a gateway to the values and ideals of a given time, as it is difficult, if not impossible, for any author to compose in isolation of their cultural, political and historical contexts. They shape the ideas, themes and relationships explored within a text and enable us to better understand the concerns and values of the author. In particular, texts often focus on individuals that contest the traditional concerns and values of their time, and implement an original, innovative approach to an otherwise out-dated manner of thinking. Both Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), a gothic cautionary tale, and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1992), a futuristic science fiction film, creatively use the enduring themes of the nature of humanity and the dangers of the challenging the natural order to portray individuals who contest the conventional values of their time. By questioning the attributes of a human being and how one becomes integrated into society, Shelley has explored the nature of humanity through the complex characters of Frankenstein. After Victor Frankenstein, a revolutionary scientist for his time, created life using an amalgamation of body parts he rejects his grotesque Creature who becomes scarred by experiences of rejection by society and suffers from estrangement and loneliness. The Creature challenges the Romantic values of Shelley’s time, as his tendency for violence is contrasted with his yearning for returned compassion. Writers in the Romantic period explored the qualities that defined the human experience, such as compassion. The juxtaposition of the Creature’s acts of extreme violence such as the murders of Elizabeth and Clerval (Frankenstein’s wife and good friend), with the acts of kindness he hoped would integrate him into society, such as the gathering of wood for the migrant family. By juxtaposing...
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