Frankenstein and Blade Runner Essay (Disruption and Identity)

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Through the parallels between Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner and Shelley’s Frankenstein, a responder is able to develop a deeper appreciation of the issues of disruption and identity. The century difference in context determines how the issues surrounding scientific experimentation and human identity are expressed within the texts and how they were received by responders of their time. Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ explores a deeper understanding of disruption through questioning the morality and consequences of creating human life. Written in 1818, Shelley both reflects and foresees the dangers scientific exploration could bring if it advanced too far. This period of scientific advancement (seen through Darwin and Galvini) is mimicked through her use of a cyclical structure in the novel, allowing the responders to recognise Walton as a foil to Victor, as he knows when to stop, “I shall kill no albatross”. This use of literary illusion suggests to the responder that there are some taboos which should not be broken, reflecting Shelley’s romantic fear of scientific advancement and the Revolution. Shelley’s subtitle, “Modern Prometheus” combined with Victors dream “I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms” show the gothic novel foreshadowing the morality and disruption that will occur if Science is not controlled. The dystopian view of society presented by Shelley also focuses on the morality and consequences of removing women from the creation of life (a message reflecting Shelley’s feminist roots). Shelley’s use of biblical references and the intertextuality of Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” links disruption with ‘playing God.’ With Victor’s hubris and the creature depicted as Adam/ Fallen angel, this Romantic perspective allows Shelley to emphasise the disruption of a natural order, and its fatal consequences. Ridley Scott’s ‘Bladerunner’ sends a similar message to the responders in a 20th century context. The futuristic setting of Los Angeles 2019, reveals a dystopian...
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