Frankenstein and Blade Runner Essay on Texts Through Time

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Analyse the ways in which a comparative study of Frankenstein and Blade Runner invites consideration of humanity’s connection with the natural world.

The comparative study of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner allows views into the tension between humanity and the natural world through their unique contexts. Although changes in context lead to changed values being reflected in texts, similar human issues resonate over time and between texts. Mary Shelley, in her gothic novel Frankenstein, writes at a time when the thirst for scientific knowledge that came with the enlightenment age was being displaced by Romantic ideals of nature. Whereas Ridley Scott, in his tech-noir film Blade Runner, with the benefit of time, portrays a dystopic world of environmental decay and social collapse that were pertinent with globalization and an increasingly capitalist society. The comparative study of the two texts depicts these unique contexts as it explores the tension between nature and civilization and acts as cautionary tales for the moral fallibility of the pursuit of knowledge, which comes with a connection to the natural world.

Mary Shelley writes about how the obsession with the pursuit of knowledge can corrupt the human ambition. Mary Shelley depicts Victor as having an idyllic childhood in the landscape of Geneva, which is corrupted by an obsession with science. Victor’s obsession with his project corrupts him, making him arrogant. Victor’s neurotic fixation to “pour a torrent of light upon this dark world” highlights the corruption of his mind through his vain glorious tone. Through this, Shelley is commenting on the archetypal enlightenment figures that were present during the period. During his path to glory, Victor becomes “shunned by my fellow creatures as if I had been guilty of a crime.” Through his hubris, Victor refuses to question his motives for his project on the creature to create life. This grotesque creation of the creature...
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