Frankenstein, Blade Runner and the Natural World

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Continually throughout history humanity’s connection to the natural world has been probed, celebrated, mocked and forgotten in a haphazard cycle that has been classified as human nature. Through a comparison of Mary Shelley’s 19th Century didactic novel, ‘Frankenstein’ (the Modern Prometheus) and the director’s cut of Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’, a common conception of man’s place amongst nature is posed as being submissive to her dominance. Though each text shares the same values each represents its core concepts in a manner inimitable to its context, ultimately critiquing the respective society’s, bringing to light the fears that the majority of society refused to acknowledge at the time. These fears centre mainly around three broad concepts; scientific discovery, industrial development and religion, which collectively invite consideration of humanity’s unabridged connection with the natural world and how it has been altered over time. In the spirit of Enlightenment, a large cultural movement in the pre-19th century world, Shelley conceived Frankenstein and, in effect, his creation. The Enlightenment movement encouraged people to turn away from faith and to start relying more on reason and the answers developments in science were beginning to supply. “A mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as that wretch.” The juxtaposition of the Creatures unnatural image with the romantic values of the sublime and creative genius characterises the monumental shift away from the natural. The death of her protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, represents the expectations the romantic writer has for the enlightenment movement, alluding to the inevitable doom it will bring upon humanity. By creating a juxtaposed image between Frankenstein, who is repeatedly surrounded by pejorative terms such as ‘suffer’, ‘malice’ and ‘bitter’, and his brother Ernest, characterising the latter as ‘full of activity and spirit’, Shelley places Ernest in the role of Romanticism...
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