Whilst texts may be fictitious examples of composers’ imaginations, they investigate and address the concerns of society and constructs of their time as well. This is evident in Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein (1818), which reflects upon the augmentation of Galvanism and the Romantic Movement of the nineteenth century, also in Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner (1992), ruminating upon the rising computing industry and the prevalence of capitalism within the late1900s. Thus, a mutual analysis of both in light of their differing but parallel contexts divulge how Shelley and Scott ultimately forewarn the audience of the ominous consequences of their desire for omnipotence and unrestrained scientific advance, notions which tie the texts throughout time.
Composed in a time of major scientific progression, as well as Galvani’s notion of electricity as a reanimating force, Shelley’s Frankenstein make use of the creative arrogance of the Romantic imagination to fashion a Gothic world in which the character’s usurpation of the divine privilege of creation has disrupted the conservative lines of authority and responsibility. Her warning of the jeopardy of such proceedings is encapsulated in Victor’s retrospective words of “how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge”, whilst Shelley’s application of a disjointed epistolatory account adds a disturbing sense of reality, foreshadowing the shady consequences of Frankenstein’s endeavors. Furthermore, her allusions to John Milton’s Paradise Lost induce the poetic retelling of Satan’s fall from grace, in which the daemon’s connection with “the fallen angel” aggravates the outcome of Victor’s rejection, eventually transforming its “benevolent nature” into a desire for reprisal. Mutually with its questioning of how Victor could “sport with life”, Shelley’s warning reverberates beyond the page, directly questioning the scientists of her time, to... [continues]
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