‘It’s not so much about survival but more about the quality of life’ To what extent can this statement be applied to the two texts you have studied this year?
Survival is the continuing to live or exist, especially in difficult conditions, whereas The quality of life is the fulfillment and personal satisfaction a person has with one’s life. Percy Shelley’s novel ‘Frankenstein’ (1818) and Ridley Scotts film ‘Blade Runner’ (1982) both demonstrate a struggle for quality of life within their texts. The texts show that it is not so much about a being’s survival, but about their undeniable want for quality in their life. We can see this issue expressed through the ideas of compassion and humanity, autonomy and freedom, along with the basic need to survive.
The novel ‘Frankenstein’ reveals the idea of compassion and humanity in association with quality of life. Throughout the novel the reader witnesses Frankenstein’s monster gaining human qualities. The monster gains the ability to feel intense emotions. When Shelley writes ‘I saw no need for their unhappiness; but I was deeply affected by it’, we can see the monster beginning to comprehend what compassion and humanity really are. The monster slowly understands what quality of life is, and what is needed to gain further quality to the monster’s life. With the accumulation of the idea of emotions in ‘Frankenstein’ it helps to portray the monsters idea of the quality of life. Also the constant repetition or reference to ‘God’ within the text alerts us to the idea of Victor, possibly trying to play God and messing with humanity. This makes us question why Victor created the monster. Victor’s mother had not survived, so did he try to replace one life lost with creating a new life. It makes us ask was Victor truly concerned about the quality of life, or was he just aimed at survival? When we read ‘nature decayed around me, and the sun became heartless, rain and snow poured around me; mighty rivers were frozen’, it...
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